Descent into the catacombs of Paris for a thrilling and unique experience!
Sometimes called the “Empire of Death”, this marvelously macabre 200-mile maze houses the painstakingly arranged remains of roughly 6 million Parisians. On this Paris Catacombs tour, you will get to see all the glorious and ghoulish sites without waiting for hours in line and you'll access rarely seen restricted chambers. Your tour begins with a bone-chilling descent on the complex’s 133-step staircase. Your guide will explain how these tunnels were used in the 13th century to quarry limestone for buildings as grand as Notre Dame. As you make your way through these narrow tunnels, you will learn why bad weather in the 1780s forced Parisians to bury their dead here. During your tour, you will have plenty of time to admire the Catacombs’ disturbingly detailed bone decorations. From religious iconography to hearts, workers found many ways to “beautify” the bones housed in this complex. Inside the popular Crypt of the Passion, for instance, you'll admire “The Barrel,” which is constructed out of various skeletal remains.
In addition to housing the dead, the catacombs played an important role in many significant historic events. Your guide will tell you tales of the German Wehrmacht and the French Resistance who both used part of the catacombs as wartime bunkers during World War II. Pay homage to monuments dedicated to people who died fighting during the French Revolution and pass by some of the cemeteries, such as the Magdalena Cemetery, where beheaded revolutionaries were laid to rest. If you are not afraid of ghosts, then ask your guide about the grave of the doorman Philibert Aspairt who passed away in the catacombs in the 18th century.