Catacombs of Paris (Crypt No. 4)
Albumen print, by the Atelier Nadar, published 1861
Bibliothèque nationale de France

The Paris Catacombs are a network of underground tunnels and chambers beneath the streets of Paris, originally quarries repurposed into an ossuary in the late 18th century to alleviate cemetery overcrowding. They hold the skeletal remains of over six million people, arranged decoratively in walls and patterns. Today, the catacombs are a popular tourist attraction offering guided tours, yet much of the labyrinthine tunnels remain off-limits due to safety concerns. Despite this, the catacombs have attracted urban explorers, although unauthorized visits are illegal and pose significant risks such as flooding and collapse. Overall, the catacombs serve as a haunting and fascinating reminder of the city's history, blending tourism with a mysterious underground world.


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