The Parisian Catacombs – A Journey Through History Under Paris

Paris France Virtual Field Trip Week 2

Free Paris France Vacation coloring page: The Catacombs coloring page

The Parisian Catacombs are a collection of ossuaries, sites that serve as the final resting place for human skeletons that can be found underneath the city of lights. Known officially as l’Ossuaire Municipal or Catacombes officiels, the Paris Catacombs is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris.

the parisian catacombs - things to do in paris


the parisian catacombsHere are a few fun and interesting facts about Paris’s underground cemetery:

It holds remains of about six million people

There are many rough estimates as to the number of human remains that have been placed inside the Paris Catacombs. However, reasonable estimates put the number of human remains in the Parisian Catacombs at around six million.

Entrance called the Gate of Hell

The entrance to one of the world’s largest cemeteries is named the Gate of Hell. Luckily it is not as hot as most people would imagine it to be down there.


The Parisian Catacombs were never completely mapped

It is illegal to enter the catacombs without permission from the local government. The reason for this is that the tunnels span more than two hundred kilometers (124.27 miles), making it extremely easy to get lost. Most of it has not been


For all legal intents and purposes, it’s a museum

Paris Musées is a public corporation tasked to handle the fourteen museums of Paris. As of 2013, the Paris Catacombs counts as one of the museums that this institution is meant to maintain and protect.


Airbnb’s desire to let people stay a night for free

Airbnb held a competition that allowed winners to stay in the cemetery portions of the massive tunnel system. They were treated to a warm bed as well as a meal.


The Parisian Catacombs’ role in World War II

Germany occupied Paris during World War II. The French Resistance during the war used the tunnels as a way to get around the city and support their movement.


Romans’ mining of the network for limestone and gypsum

The tunnels that make the catacombs are actually mining tunnels that trace all the way back to the time when the Romans occupied Paris. Limestone and gypsum were both mined here, most of which were used to construct the majority of the city’s buildings.


Graffiti artists and art shows under the tunnels

Paris is home to a lot of artists, some of whom prefer to use walls as their canvases. The need to express their art has led some artists to go into the tunnels to spray paint on some of its sections. Not just that, but the tunnels of the Paris Catacombs are also famous for holding some clandestine art shows.


The Parisian  Catacombs in the Movies

The catacombs not only is home to a ton of human skeletons but also serves as a home to a lot of lost loot. There is a police task force that patrols the tunnels to make sure that no one trespasses illegally. Once, the police found a secret cinema complete with an electric screen, seating carved from the walls of the tunnels, and even a bar.


The Parisian Catacombs Reviews

Catacombs Reviews on TripAdvisor


Getting to the Parisian Catacombs

The Eiffel Tower  is located in Champ de Mars, a large public greenspace in Paris, France.

Metro Station: Denfert Rochereau


Virtual Visit:


Fun Paris Catacombs Facts

  • This is scary but fun at the same time. In some rooms, you need to walk through piles of skeletons to pass through.
  • King Charles hosted wild parties inside the Paris Catacombs.
  • Sneaking down the unmapped areas of the catacombs can be dangerous! A lot of people get lost doing that.


Paris France Virtual Field Trip Recap

Week 1 – Things to do in Paris with kids
Week 2 – The Parisian Catacombs
Week 3 – The Eiffel Tower
Week 4 – Arc de Triomphe Paris

For updates on all new Virtual Field Trips, join our updates list by using the box at the bottom of the page (Click on Free Download of Top Attractions for Kids in London – or click through here)

Leave a Comment