Monday, October 15, 2007

Paris underground...


Here is a little "behind the scene" for today. As I did not know who was going to win yesterday, I prepared two photos and this is the one I planned to use in case France had beaten the Brits. The caption would say something like "Ever ask yourself where losing rugby players never visit when in Paris? Well wonder no more... The English team can now be found among the other remains that lie below the streets of Paris in the catacombs." Well, that serves me right! The Catacombs are a giant network of galleries that were turned into a huge cemetery during the 18th century and are now closed. You can still visit l'Ossuaire where skulls are to be seen, like on this photo...

22 comments:

  1. That's really eerie, fantastic photo, thanks.

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  2. Oh, that's perfect! Almost right on time for Halloween! ;)

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  3. Moi, je pense qu'ils semblent britanniques !

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  4. Tha'ts one eerie part of Paris one will seldom see...but what could be eerier than The Strange Republic?

    www.veryclicky.blogspot.com

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  5. Wow, Eric...now that is scary...but also amazing. Had no idea you can still visit part of the catacombs. Are they widely advertised? Have been to Paris several times...and never knew about them. Greetings from TORUŃ DAILY PHOTO, where today we have a special competition about a donkey! Are you up to the challenge?

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  6. Well Eric. Yes, I guess that does serve you right!! I love your sense of humour though, and you were very magnanimous in defeat. I have to say, a trip to the catacombs does nothing for me, too spooky......

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  7. Eric

    Are you sure that's not the French memorial to Agincourt? :-)

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  8. i was there last summer,
    it's really great those catacombs, incredible to see it under paris..

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  9. Yessssss! Thanks for showing this picture! I visited the catacombs when I was a child. Strange idea from my grandfather to get there, but I got so impressed back then. ..

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  10. Hi,
    to my knowledge the Catacomb were not used like a cemetery. If i remember well, just after the French revolution they used these old mines (of limestones) to store the bones from the overpopulated cemeteries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombs_of_Paris

    David

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  11. Did you really go to the catacombs? Wow! I´ve read about it many times but I heard it´s very creepy and narrow and even humid down there...Brrr

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  12. What I found the funniest thing about the catacombs that I visit this past December was that the people that stacked the skulls and bones had a nice sense of humor back then. At one place skulls where stacked in between the bones to form a big heart, about 1 meter high... Also at the entrance of the catacombs it says: “Arrete! C’est ici l’empire de la mort”!! 
    It makes for a different kind of picture showing back home of Paris during Christmas!

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  13. When I was in Paris (October 2005) the Catacombs was on my list of places to see. The history of the place is quite grotesque in an interesting sort of way. You can see my photos here.

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  14. Wow, I take a quick trip up to Canada’s Wilderness, and I come back to victories and defeat, and a load of comments I’ll take the time to peruse later on.

    Many years ago I visited the Catacombs and was told to not use flash when taking photos. Knowing I’d not get good photos without it I didn’t bother taking photos at all. However, I recall several other less compliant people flashing away! What I remember the most about this place was that it was cold, damp, and dark and it felt good to get back out and see the sun again although I was blinded by it temporarily. Monica, it does feel humid, and water drips on your head. ;) I also recall that the entrance was rather nondescript and it took us a few minutes to find it.

    Although this was an eerie experience, it was less of the surreal experience I had when visiting the Capuchin Catacombs underneath the convent in Palermo, Sicily. Eric, there the complete bodies in their clothing decorate the walls. Could you imagine the losing rugby team (ahem) on those walls in their uniforms? ;)

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  15. Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio. He was this one, right here, just let me pull him out, and, wait, ugh, he's really buried, well, OW!

    Alas, my back, I screwed it, Horatio!

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  16. The Catacombs are tres creepy! I could not wait to get out of there, once I went in out of deference to my traveling companion. That song just kept going through my head, "The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone..."

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  17. "Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem Dry Bones...!! Now heah da word of da Lawd"!!!!

    Have never done the Catacombs, perhaps someday. This isn't where you go when you get evicted from Pere Lachaise is it??? Cremation sounds good...don't want to end up as a tourist attraction..LOL!

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  18. Wow. Strong photo. I'd like to visit the catacombs some day.

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  19. Haven't toured this spot in Paris. Looks deadly. Ahem

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  20. By the way, that is the "official" catacombs you can officially tour. When I was a student in Paris, we used to go at night into the unofficial ones (thru trap access on the street). Basically you can walk in a maze under Paris between Parc du Luxembourg and the south of Paris (close to the "Peripherique"). Over there, (close to the City of Montrouge), I remember there was also an "ossuaire". You could walk on the bones! (but all skulls were taken long time ago...).

    It seems people still go under : Have a look at http://katagang.free.fr/ or more at http://www.catacombes.info/

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