The Catacombs of Paris May 2008

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rigsby

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This was my second visit to the Paris Catacombs. After my last visit it had left me wanting to see more of the around 200 miles of underground tunnel complex.
Riddled with history from way back in its quarry days where the stone was used to build Paris's cathedrals.
To the bones in the Ossuary when the grave yards became full in Paris they relocated the bones to the catacombs between 1786 and 1860 it is said that 5 to 6 million skeletons were moved to the catacombs.
Of course this is only a tiny bit of the appeal of the Catacombs it also offers world war history with bunkers and a fall out shelter.
Industrial with a underground brewery.
Culture of the Cataphiles who spend lots of time in the Catacombs and make and decorating rooms.
I think this is why the Catacombs appeals to me so much it is a whole world down there under the busy streets of Paris.

Day One.

We all met up at St Pancras checked in to the Euro star and once on the train we all met up at the bar to have a beer and to have a look at the map and decide a route. When we got to Gare Du Nore we put our kit that we did not need to take underground in lockers then jumped on the metro towards our entry point. On the way we stopped to get some water beer and food at a supermarket. By the time we came out it was pissing it down so once it died off a bit we were on our way.

Once in we went to have a look at the man in the wall still broken sadly.
Then we went to the Castle room and flower room being careful on the way as we had to pass the place we knew a few people had been caught by the police. A mix of wading and ducking along corridors and we were there.

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Next we made our way to the Foxy plaque a tribute to a photographer who use to visit the Catacombs but sadly passed away.

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Then it was on the the Beach room. The floor is all sand and the is waves painted on one of the walls. there is also a big model robot.

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Then it was on to Le Cellier a part of the Catacombs used as a wine cellar at some point. We stopped here to have some food and a beer and take in the beautiful art work.

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After we had filled our faces we went to the Lantern room

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Then on to Carrefour du Morts.

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Next we went to have a look at the Flag room via a tight crawl so tight i did not take my bag and camera how i regret that now. The flags had gone but the room was ace with a nice high ceiling and next door a old air raid shelter.

We then made our way over to the bunker to find a nice room to sleep in. A smelly wrong turns on the way and a bit of back tracking and we were at our room for the night. We made up our beds and had some food and beers and it was not long before i was asleep. A good nights sleep apart from wakening to here snoring which at first i thought was a pidgin.

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Day Two

We packed out kit up and set off not far to our first stop a room with a water gage and a cool little trough with steps going down to it. We did not stay long because it smelt of piss.

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Philibert Aspairt plaque. Philibert Aspairt was a Hospital worker at Val de Grace hospital during the French Revolution. He entered the catacombs on his own in 1793 via a hospital staircase and never returned. Topographic workers found the remnants of his body 11 years later so called they knew it was him because he had a set of hospital keys.

We then went up a stair case to the surface. you can see the daylight through The glass pavement slab but you can not get out because the man hole next to it is sealed shut.
Its a funny feeling so close yet so far from the hustle and bustle of the word above. My camera got a bit steamed up so apologies for the phots.

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Next stop was a big room with lots of nice arches. I can not remember the name of this room.

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Then to the mineralogy office there would have been samples of rock on each of the step taken from different levels.

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The Paris Mine school do paintings on the walls in a corridor every few years. The painting are dated the year they are started not finished.

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The book shop good to see a few more books there this time.

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The brewery. A crawl then down a ladder in to the underground tanks that were once used to brew alcohole. You can see on the side where a thermomoter would have sat.

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On to the sand crawl then up to the Ossuary stones then makeing our way out and back to the station to get some beer and food.

We got to see a lot and it was a realy good trip.
Thanks everyone for a good 2 days.
 

Dr Zoidberg

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Very good report there.

I've read countless accounts of the catas on 28DL and here , and every time I see something new.
 

KingElvis

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Nice mate, shame about the urine smell in that room :(

Nice report amd photos.
 
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