Au revoir Paris!

Paris Travel Blog

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The first 10 minutes in the catacombs you walk down tunnels like this one.
Today we were leaving Paris but there was one more thing on our agenda. We wanted to visit the catacombs of Paris. We packed up our things and left our bags with the hotel clerk so we could head over to Denfert - Rochereau. After a little trouble of getting the right train that would get us there we arrived at the entrance to the catacombs. I was glad that I had read on one of the TB reviews that it was a green "building" in the middle of Denfert square otherwise we would have had to search around for a while.

We paid the 8 Euros/ person to get in. We descended into the tunnel system of Paris and a narrow, winding staircase. I was really dizzy by the time we got down. The lack of fresh oxygen didn't help either.
A sink hole in the tunnels
  We walked down narrow tunnels for about 10 minutes before reaching the entrance to the mass tomb. From here on out there was no flash photography allowed. There were guards sitting in various areas to make sure you didn't. I guess they started getting very paranoid last year. Someone broke into the catacombs and vandalized it. They had to shut down operations for nearly 3 months. I'm not sure what kind of damage was done, but I think that the skulls got most of the damage. I looked at older pictures and they were in good shape. Now most of them are turned so you can only see the back of the skulls, probably because the fronts got destroyed during the unfortunate incident.

The bones and skulls that are kept here were moved from other Parisian cemeteries in the 1800s.
This is rare in the tunnels. High arches
Supposedly there are a couple of "famous" bones down here but there's no way you would know which was are "special". The bones and skulls are arranged in stacks alongside the tunnels as you can see on the pictures. Again, the pictures were without flash. Kind of funny that my ol' cellphone got a better light filter then the "big" digital camera, so I took most of the pics with only 2.0 pixels. Sorry 'bout the bad quality guys. Guess you'll just have to see for yourself one day. ;)

Walking around down there and with no one ahead of us, the first guard we came across scared the hell out of me. I was walking around one of the support pillars to see which way to follow next and there he/she (can't remember) sat in the half dark corner. Holy hell, I about had a heart attack right there.
Entrance to the mass tomb
haha

The tunnels are rather creepy I guess. It's dark, the air is stale and there are altars and crosses everywhere. Not church like crosses either. Painted in black paint. Yeah. Like I said. A bit creepy. Also if you're claustrophobic, probably not the thing for you either. I'm 5'11 and had to duck my head a couple of times.

We spend a little over 1 hour in the catacombs before making our way back out. At the exit all bags were searched, because apparently people like taking souvenirs. There were a couple of skulls and bones laying out on the table to prove that the inconvenience was necessary.

We had a about an hour to kill before we had to seriously consider making our way to Care L'Est, so we got a real cup of coffee at Starbucks. By real, I mean, real sized.
Skulls and bones
Not a small cup for 5 Euro, but a "Grande" for 4 Euro. ;) I like my coffee, but hate overpaying for it. 

We picked up our luggage at the hotel and got on the metro to the east train station of Paris. From here we got on our direct train back to Stuttgart. I had bought the tickets through www.deutschebahn.de. Printed the ticket at home and had reserved seat to and from Paris. Funny was, that every time our seat were already occupied by somebody, but after a short discussion had "our" seats. The train ride was uneventful for the most part.

There was a couple being searched by German border patrol for god knows what. We never quite found out. Back in Stuttgart we had to figure out which train would bring us closer to home. It was snowing like crazy and we had been 1 hour delayed because the train had to slow down a bit. I found the information right away and headed for our next platform. Hubby was in dire need for a smoke. There are "smoking squares" at train stations now. I had never seen it before. It cracked me up. All it is, is a yellow painted square on the floor, with an ashtray in the middle and a large sign saying smoking area. LOL So you need to be standing inside the marked area to smoke. Hilarious!

We arrived at the Boeblingen train station at 9 pm. Grabbed something to eat and then got a cab home. Meanwhile snow was falling non stop. Ahhh... It's good to be home. ;)
emmllerg says:
Enjoy your next vacation to Paris
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
missandrea81 says:
Oh, I hope you enjoy it. I did. This was a great find. :)
Posted on: Aug 29, 2010
sarahthevegasbride says:
I really fancy doing this, we are in Paris in Oct.
Posted on: Aug 27, 2010
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The first 10 minutes in the cataco…
The first 10 minutes in the catac…
A sink hole in the tunnels
A sink hole in the tunnels
This is rare in the tunnels. High …
This is rare in the tunnels. High…
Entrance to the mass tomb
Entrance to the mass tomb
Skulls and bones
Skulls and bones
Close up, skulls and bones
Close up, skulls and bones
Rows and rows of this about 5 feet…
Rows and rows of this about 5 fee…
No flash allowed makes dark pictur…
No flash allowed makes dark pictu…
Uhhuuuhhhh.... I think hubby is a …
Uhhuuuhhhh.... I think hubby is a…
more bones
more bones
An alter inside the tomb
An alter inside the tomb
More bones
More bones
The signs indicate from which Pari…
The signs indicate from which Par…
This is what the piles of bones lo…
This is what the piles of bones l…
Lots of arm bones
Lots of arm bones
?? dont know what it says, but YO…
?? don't know what it says, but Y…
Cross
Cross
Super close up
Super close up
Another cross
Another cross
Touching a skull
Touching a skull
Dark skulls
Dark skulls
Cross and bones
Cross and bones
Paris Hotels & Accommodations review
Great location, but noisy
Location: The hotel is close to the Maubert Mutualite Metro station and there are several other stops in walking distance. The Pantheon is one block s… read entire review
Paris
photo by: Sweetski