Paris, France; Catacombes. Peggs, Max, Samantha and I took to the underground this morning after a bit of street and train orienteering. We got to nearly the front of the long line with our pre-paid tickets except we couldn’t find Peggy’s. Fortunately she was able to download from her email and it was accepted. The tunnels were about as neat as advertised. According to the audio history they were built to keep disease from spreading in already overcrowded gravesites. It was claimed that people living near existing graveyards had their milk spoil quickly and worse. When an overcrowded graveyard crypt broke and spilled into the cellars of nearby homes it was said that enough was enough and the government ordered the movement of exist graves into tunnels dugout for that purpose. In all, it was said that the remains of 6,000,000 people were moved. They used the space for new graves.
Inside the tunnels it was cool—said to be 57 F. The walls were limestone. We descended a spiral staircase 20m. Initially there were just signs of the excavation carved into the walls and regular lighting. Spaces opened up here and there. The ossuaries started with femurs arranged neatly, parallel, and stacked about +5 feet high along both walls. These went on for long stretches. Skulls were arranged in the stacks sometimes randomly but often in patterns. There were heart shapes and crosses or box and row patterns. All of it was interesting and as I recall from pre-reading, was done for respect. We only were allowed to see a small part of the extensive tunnels. We popped out at a staircase in an inconspicuous building between apartments on a boulevard. Inside there were lots of living people but it never got crowded. Samantha zoomed ahead, having gotten creeped-out, but she was happy to arrive at the gift shop where the theme was still bone symboled trinkets. https://flic.kr/p/2gC5hcZ