Other than the lavish museums and châteaus, I believe this is my favorite destination in Paris. You wait in line for a couple of hours, and when you step in through the door you get the feeling of anticipation for a great adventure.
Down and down we spiraled through a long set of stairs that kept going down. The passageway once you land makes you feel like you took a time machine back, and that is one of my most favorite feelings. The adventurer feels like they are walking in a dimension between the past and the present, somewhere in its own contained existence. As we went, we could spot green mold growing on the walls juxtaposed with the contrast of graffiti tags and vinyl stickers. At length of the walk, we stumbled upon an exhibit of objects that were found in the depths of the catacombs site. A large seashell from a long distant past, and other specimens of minerals were on display. Gated passageways with wrought iron fences and mysterious destinations far under the belly of Paris in what was once an underwater place.
Fascinating! A really very creepy place!
Before going into the crypt site, you are met with a sign asking for no flash photography as well as asking you not to touch the skulls. (It was adorably illustrated to boot.) On the way, the walls have plaques on them to help you identify the time period the miners went through there. So it goes. The passageways are named in cryptic ways, such as “Avenue of Monsters.” I loved it!
When you step into the crypt sites, you feel a change in the air. You’ve been feeling it for however long the journey to this point has been going on since going underground. And now you’re finally here, and the air is damp with dim lights. The piles of bones are staggering. You walk through a maze open to the public and you wonder what this place is like with the lights off late at night when no one else is there. I’d be crazy enough to venture it, even though it’s likely freezing cold. I’d love to commune with those spirits, to envision their stories and to have an experience with the brave souls of the revolution.
The skulls embedded in the piles were beautiful. Some of them were arranged into crosses or other creative designs. The fact these people have such a unique resting place is amazing. I wish that someday I could end up in a similar situation. The traditional cemetery site isn't my thing. If I'm not buried randomly in a forest, I would like to end up in a pile of bones in a very underground place.
It’s so crowded with bones, you can imagine them hosting spirit gatherings. Let your imagination run wild in a place like this and you could have yourself the next best selling novel. Imagine them frozen in time, dancing in their aged vestments and looping constantly in the remnants of their memory. Forevermore!
Now they rest here. I hope you enjoy my little gallery of mementos as I swept through their history and admired them in their resting place. Can you hear the deafening silence?
I've got friends on the other side.