Is going to the Paris catacombs illegal?

Visiting them is illegal and considered trespassing, although it is mostly tolerated by locals. If caught, trespassers face a small fine. A small portion of the Catacombs is open to the public or tourists.

What is the story behind the Paris catacombs?

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.

What happens if you get caught in the catacombs?

There is a 60 euro fine for people captured by the E.R.I.C. – the special police patrolling the mines (colloquially known as “cataflics“). The police arrest up to 100 cataphiles a week, in a game that almost resembles hide-and-seek.

Why are there skulls in the Paris catacombs?

During the Napoleon Empire, it was decided that the bones would be arranged in a necropolis emulating the roman ones, which explains the surprising aesthetic, effectively creating a city of the dead underneath the city of the living.

Are the Catacombs in Paris safe?

The Paris Catacombs are not safe to explore for the solo traveler. There have been instances of people getting lost inside the underground tunnels. That’s why it would be best to go with someone who can get help in case something bad happens, or just don’t go at all.

Are there real bones in the Paris catacombs?

These were created when the stone was mined to build the buildings above ground. Some of this stone was used to build the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre. So, basically, workers went into cemeteries, removed the bones and piled them in the Catacombs. However, it was just the femurs and the skulls that we saw.

Do they still put bodies in the Paris catacombs?

The remains of more than six million people are buried in a vast network of tunnels below Paris, France. People who call themselves ‘cataphiles’ visit the catacombs illegally and occasionally hold underground parties. Skulls and bones are arranged to form the walls of the tunnels in the Paris Catacombs.

What are Les Catacombes in Paris?

Les Catacombes refers to the part of underground quarry that became the publicly accessible ossuary. However, the term catacombs is often used colloquially to refer to the more vast underground network of tunnels under Paris. These underground tunnels have remained a storied part of Parisian history: during WWII the Resistance held meetings there.

What is the most common question asked of a cataphile?

The most common question those who hear that someone they know is a cataphile is ‘have you ever stolen any bones?’

Is Philibert the guardian of the Cataphiles?

He was found eleven years later a few steps from the exit with a bottle of the said liquor in his hand. To this day, cataphiles revere Philibert as the guardian, the resident ghostly presence of the cataphiles, and the example not to follow. A torch, and a back-up torch are prerequisites. Why take the risk, then?

How many bones are there in the Paris catacomb?

Indeed, the official tourist destination, Les Catacombes de Paris, contains thousands of skeletons and bones from past Parisians, Meanwhile, an unofficial catacomb visit will uncover almost no bones and a distinct lack of human remains.