/ / Paris catacombs:, (Catacombes de Paris)

Paris catacombs:, (Catacombes de Paris)

Paris catacombs - a huge network of artificial tunnels and caves that stretch under the city, according to some, 300 kilometers. In addition, it is the largest place of burial: from the end of XVIII century, the catacombs took the remains of about six million people.

The catacombs formed at the place of quarries, giving Paris a stone from the time of Louis XI. Cut here limestone, comfortable and durable building material. The city grew rapidly, new mines were opened further from the center. In the XVII century under many residential areas of Paris formed a long cavern - the entire street is "hanging" over the precipice.

Realizing the magnitude of the threat, Louis XVI issued a decree which created the General Inspectorate of quarries, which exists to this day. More than two centuries on did a great job in strengthening the dungeons.

The present appearance of the catacombs formed another problem that Paris had faced in the mid eighteenth century. Since ancient times, cemeteries were located next to churches. Only the cemetery of the Innocents remains of two million bodies lay ten-layer. In 1780 the cemetery wall collapsed, the cellars of neighboring houses filled with bones and filth. Fifteen months special convoys were taken out bones and put them in a former career. Then the city started cleaning another seventeen cemeteries. The catacombs became the final resting place.

During the German occupation in the quarry on the left Bank of the Seine housed a secret bunker of the Wehrmacht. Just 500 meters from it was the headquarters of the French Resistance.

Today, specially equipped for tourists and 2.5 km of underground galleries. People with strong nerves can visit and ossuary, whose walls are composed of millions of bones and skulls. Historical exhibition introduces visitors to the interesting facts: the Emperor Napoleon III was taken in the catacombs of important guests, the caretaker of the Church of Val-Degras tried to find an old cellar, but has lost his skeleton was found after eleven years, by identifying keys. And during the cold war in the underground galleries were equipped with bomb shelters in case of nuclear attack.

Now the catacombs are temporarily closed for tourists.