the ossuary under Paris

An interesting historical item about Paris: beneath the city lies the world’s largest ossuary (a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead).  We only came across this fact quite recently and found it interesting.  Paris cemeteries were emptied of their dead beginning in the 1780s, and their bones were interred in the extensive tunnel system (former limestone mines and quarries) that lies beneath the city’s streets.  Estimates range from 6 to 7 million individuals have had their bones placed in this tunnel network.  We had wondered why in photos of Paris we do not see many tall buildings.  The presence of these extensive tunnels 60 feet below the surface prevents the large, heavy and deep foundations needed for modern sky scrapers.

Below the streets of modern Paris, every day is the day of the dead.

 

 

Here is a sample photo of the many that can be found with a simple internet search.

 

paris-catacombs-2

 

Another scene.  (Bones from the Cemetery of Innocents, deposited in April, 1786.)

 

paris-catacombs

 

For those interested readers, just type in the words “Paris catacombs” in your favorite search engine to find more about this.

copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com

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