Web
Analytics
Report - - Paris Catacombs, May 2010. | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
  • Welcome to 28DaysLater.co.uk - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections, plus Private & Local Groups and a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. However, creating an account allows you to search, post replies, start new threads, use bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems. Also, it removes some ads.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password

Report - Paris Catacombs, May 2010.

Skydiver

Memento vivere
28DL Full Member
#1
The Paris Catacombs have long been a place I wanted to see for myself, in May this year I finally made it. Thanks to OT, UJ and Shadow from this side of the pond, and special thanks to Rug and the Teknicien for their hospitality in Paris.

The catacombs under Paris were originally created to mine for the stone used in the buildings above ground, as Paris grew so did the need for materials, and so did the quarries. In 1180 C.E., Philippe-Auguste became King, and it was under his rule that the tunnel network would truly be born.

Problems began to arise in the eighteenth century, the city of Paris (and the weight of its buildings) continued to grow, some buildings began to collapse and fall into the earth that was opening up below them. On April 4, 1777, the Inspection Générale des Carrières was formed to manage, fill in, or close sections of the tunnels deemed dangerous.

This was the start of the transformation into the catacombs we see today. Alexandre Lenoir, the Police Lieutenant General who was overseeing the renovations to the quarries was the first to see potential in the quarries as storage for the dead that were (quite literally in some cases) spilling out onto the streets from the overcrowded and putrid cemeteries.

Getting into and around the catacombs is uncomfortable at times, with low ceilings and crawls that just seem to sap the energy from you as you go.

CNV00049.jpg


CNV00052.jpg


CNV00062.jpg


The tunnels we walk along follow roughly the roads above, as the roads don’t bear as much weight there is less chance they will collapse into the catacombs. The roads are named underground to aid navigation, it really is a city below the city.

CNV00026.jpg


As we walk around there are piles of carbide here and there, white or black depending if they were burned after being discarded, only once was I subjected to the smell of carbide that was disposed of, and left without being burned... the foul sulphurous stench was overpowering.
CNV00027.jpg


We visited the monks fountain
CNV00006.jpg


Philibert’s grave
CNV00011.jpg


The lanterns room, kindly lit up by a group of cataphiles with candles before we got there.
CNV00051.jpg


The Bar
CNV00053.jpg


The Library, which had some interesting books, including accounting for dummies (or similar)
CNV00021.jpg


And the Human Bomb room, a mural of a man who took a class of schoolchildren hostage for 2 days with 16 sticks of dynamite strapped to his body.
CNV00023.jpg


Also on the tour was the German bunker, established during the second world war, this is where my trip nearly came to an abrupt end...
CNV00014.jpg


CNV00016.jpg


And, of course, we also saw the bones...
CNV00059.jpg


CNV00064.jpg


CNV00065.jpg


CNV00067.jpg


CNV00068.jpg


Sleeping in the catacombs was not so bad
CNV00001.jpg


CNV00031.jpg


Although falling asleep with your trousers hung over a tripod, trying to dry them with a carbide lamp may not be the best plan...
CNV00002.jpg


The final night in the catacombs coincided with the cataclean party, where people partying down there take up a bag of litter to a particular stairwell where it can be collected by the authorities.

CNV00009.jpg


We ended up dragging out a mouldy tent, filled with all sorts including enough pots and pans to furnish the average kitchen, hundreds of cigarette ends and bottle tops and a random assortment of broken glass and plastic – oh, and a 4ft fir tree!
CNV00033.jpg
 

Skydiver

Memento vivere
28DL Full Member
#2
A few days after being in the non public side of the catacombs I decided to take a trip into the public side, this section of the catacombs is very different, the bones of the dead have been arranged in macabre formations, with skulls and tibias forming a wall behind which the other bones have been stacked.

These walls stretched on and on, I tried to keep in mind that each skull, each pair of leg bones was an individual, but the more you walk down the 1.7km route, the harder it is to see the reality behind the display.

RT229.jpg


RT251.jpg


RT244.jpg


RT240.jpg


RT235.jpg


RT237.jpg


RT232.jpg


RT249.jpg


RT231.jpg


RT227.jpg


RT219.jpg


RT252.jpg


RT255.jpg


And then there were piles of bones outside of the public view, in gated off areas you couldn’t see without torchlight.

RT239.jpg