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History

The history of the Paris Catacombs starts in the eighteenth century. Starting in 1809, the Catacombs were opened to the public. Since their creation, the Catacombs have aroused curiosity.

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of the Paris Catacombs

In the late eighteenth century, when major public health problems tied to the city’s cemeteries led to a decision to transfer their contents to an underground site. Paris authorities chose an easily accessible site that was, at the time, located outside the capital: the former Tombe-Issoire quarries under the plain of Montrouge. The first evacuations were made from 1785 to 1787 and concerned the largest cemetery in Paris, the Saints-Innocents cemetery.

The site was consecrated as the “Paris Municipal Ossuary” on April 7, 1786, and, from that time forward, took on the mythical name of “Catacombs”, in reference to the Roman catacombs, which had fascinated the public since their discovery. Starting in 1809, the Catacombs were opened to the public by appointment.

Figures

20 meters

of depth : a 5-story building

243 steps

In the Paris Catacombs, there are 131 steps to go down and 112 steps to climb up.

1 500 meters

For this 1.5 km circuit, plan on an hour-long visit.

11 000 m2

of total area

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The history of The Catacombs

Discover the history of The Catacombs of Paris