Paths of the Dead

I've been meaning to write a little something on the Catacombs of Paris for some time now. I had originally wanted to put something together for Halloween, but as you can see I've missed that mark. I think why it was taking me so long is that I wanted to do the place justice in words, when really, I should have just let the photos speak for themselves. So many bones are down there, more than you will ever see, and each had its own life. It's estimated that there's around six million individuals at rest down there. The history of the place is fascinating. I won't go into detail about it, but if you are interested you can read up at the Catacombs of Paris website.

So many unknown souls, so many stories lost and forgotten.

C'est le mort.













On a side note, I went with my uncle, who lives in Paris, but for all the decades he has been there, he had never visited the catacombs. I think he was a little appalled that I was taking photos of all the bones; perhaps even thought I was being a bit disrespectful. My thought is, why would you not take photos of all the bones? It has been almost a year later and I am still thinking about all those nameless folks down in the dark. I find them fascinating, as macabre as that may be, yet still in my thoughts.


If you happen to be going to Paris anytime soon and would like to see the Catacombs for yourself, to find the small entrance look for the large lion statue at the intersection. He will be looking away from an old, insignificant looking, stone building (here). That is where you'll find the entrance. (Doesn't that sound like the most marvelous opening setting for a novel?) Of course, the line of people waiting to get in will give it away too, but I still like the lion directions better.  However, be forewarned, it's popular so you may want to plan your visit for a non-holiday time of the year or plan on standing in line for a while. They only let a small group of people down at a time. A flashlight is handy too, but not absolutely necessary. No flash photography is allowed.