Les Catacombes de Paris
February 20, 2016
The Catacombs were a lot less disturbing than I expected. Perhaps it was the museum-like order of the skulls and bones neatly stacked one on top the other, the desensitizing effect of how many there were… I strongly suspect it was our crew because we couldn’t keep it together, out laughter reverberating off the narrow, low-ceilinged walls. So maybe there was no intense adrenaline rush, but, thinking back, it was impressive. The remains of about 6 million people are held in this underground ossuary. Lamps line the tunnels, giving off just enough light to see the rows and rows of what used to be 18th century Parisians. A covering of moss has started to grow over the porous remains. It is quite damp and musty, condensation pools on the ceiling. Quotes in French, Italian and Latin are interspersed throughout and we would stop to decipher them.
Où est-elle la Mort toujours future ou passée ? A peine est-elle présente, que déjà, elle n’est plus.
On the way out they check your bags, so as much as you want to, try to refrain from pilfering any femurs!