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Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are truly unique.
Visiting Paris there is needs to try something curious and after monuments, museums, arts is not to be underestimated a tour underground.

There is a gigantic ossuary buried in the town of Paris, remains of about 6 million people, stretching for kilometers.
By fact the largest cemeteries in the world occupying the remains of quarries and tunnels dug to extract the famous stone with which were constructed buildings and cathedrals.

The problem to shoot inside the catacombs is big, is forbidden to use the flash and also the tripod.
Only light the lamps on the walls of the weak, the least to see where you put your feet. So ISO to the maximum possible, lean against the wall, very firm hand, iris wide open and as always a lot of patience. If I could do something I with my Canon 450D can succeed too.

Photo gallery: Catacombs of Paris

For a length of about 1.7 km, the Catacombs of Paris are actually part of an artificial circuit of 100 km, a quarry from which were extracted limestone, chalk and clay dating back from the Gallo-Roman.

Since Roman times, Parisians buried their dead on the outskirts of the city, it changed during Christianity where the dead were buried under or near a church as a place consecrated. From the tenth century many of the cemeteries of Paris, within the limits of the city, were no longer able to expand becoming very crowded.

An attempt was made to remedy with the opening of a ground central for the mass burial for those who were not rich enough to afford one near the church. The cemetery was named Cemetery of the Innocents. Once the excavation of the cemetery was full, it was covered and then open another. Substances from the decomposition of organic matter began to flow directly into the ground, creating an unacceptable situation.

In the seventeenth century the sanitary conditions in the vicinity of the Innocents were unsustainable. The church and the clergy continued for economic reasons to bury the dead even when the ditches were full to overflowing.

A series of laws aimed at limiting the use of the cemetery did little or nothing to remedy the situation. New cemeteries were created outside of the central area of the capital, in the cemetery of Montmartre in the north, east and Pere Lachaise Cemetery Passy west. Later Montparnasse south.

Long had sought a solution to the problem of the cemeteries in the city and to consolidate the galleries of the quarry, was the police lieutenant Alexandre Lenoir to use the underground voids for that purpose. The exhumation and transfer of all deaths in the Catacombs of Paris began in 1786, and was completed in 1788.

The Catacombs of Paris in the early years were mostly a deposit of bones, but the successor of Guillaumot made the mausoleum like any other: directing the rearrangement of skulls and femurs in the current arrangement, he found and used the tombstones as decoration.

Opened in the late eighteenth century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale and has been open to the public on a regular basis since 1874.

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There are 14 comments for these photos

  • Great shots! I’ve always wanted to visit the Catacombs, and this only makes me want to more.

    Any way we can get a translation on the signs? I didn’t realize just how rusty my French and Latin were until I tried translating in my head?

    Sign 1:
    Arrete! C’est ici l’empire de la mort
    Stop! Here is the empire of the dead

    Sign 2: Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede Pauperum tabernas Regum que turres.
    Here the dead who walk poorly in the kingdom of the ground?

    Sign 3: Venez gens du monde venez dans ces demeures silencieuses et votre ame alors tranquille sera frappee de la voix qui s’eleve de leur interieur. “C’est ici que le plus grand des maitres, le Tombeau tient son ecole de verite. Tomb. de Hervey

    — — of the world — from the small silences and your friends that quietly —- of the voices who go higher in the interior. “Here is the greatest of grand mothers. The tombs that are the school of truth.”

    Not sure if I’m even close on some of these.

  • “Come (gentle)men of the world[! C]ome into their silent resting places and your soul even though peaceful will be struck by the voice that learns of their interior: ‘Here is the greatest of the masters, Death, holding its school of truth.’”

    So says the sign in image #6, as well as I can make out, though I don’t think I have gotten it quite right. I don’t know Latin, so I can’t really make sense of the sign in image #4.

  • Interesting set, very good, thought provoking (y)

  • I don’t know how many images you had to drop into the bit bucket, but you have done an excellent job, especially considering what you had to work with. A lot of arm and leg bones and skulls were used in this cave, but do you know what happened to the ribs, pelvises, vertebrae, and small bones of the hands and feet?

  • They look better than I seen them in person!!

  • Good set, especially considering the restrictions on flash and tripods.

  • Great job considering your restrictions. we get those same restrictions in many of the explorable caves.

    The light certainly have a strong yellow cast that create a very eerie feel.

  • I love these. Really good job considering the lighting. 🙂 I remember the first time I saw something about these catacombs on TV. I was only a little girl. And I totally remember my sister crying seeing it on TV. lol.

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