Catacombs of Paris: A labyrinth of dead under the city of lights

Paris, the capital of France, is often regarded as the city of lights. It is one of the most popular cities of the world. But beneath this dazzling city of France, lies a 200 meter long tunnel holding remains of 6 million of its former inhabitants. Back in 17th century, a sudden increase was observed in the city’s population, giving rise to open graves, unearthed corpses and improper burials. Those who lived near the graveyard of the city, Les Innocents, claimed that a strong disgusting smell was executed from the graves. This smell was unbearable and started spreading many diseases among the citizens. Later in 1780, Paris experienced a devastating rainfall. The heavy rains caused the dead bodies to come out of the graves. Skulls and human bones could be seen lying around the city.

To overcome this arduous situation, the lime stone mines that lied under the city were turned into a burial place. All, the corpse from Les Innocents, were transferred into these mines. It took two years for the transfer of human carcasses to the underground catacombs. But it was after the French Revolution, when the newly dead were directly buried in these catacombs. These tunnels are open for the general public even today and are regarded as a popular tourist attraction for those visiting Paris.

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