Saturday, August 23, 2014

Visiting The Paris Catacombs

If you've been to a movie recently or flipped on the TV you've probably seen the preview for the new movie As Above, So Below which is a horror movie set in the Paris Catacombs. 

When I saw this I was sceptical that the movie was actually filmed in the famous Catacombs. Laura and I visited the Catacombs last summer and when we went you were instructed by the guides that this was the final resting place for thousands of people and you should treat it with respect. It was hardly the place for a movie to be filmed, but filmed there it was. As Above, So Below was the first film to ever be allowed a license to film there and so I'm curious to see how the film treats the site.

As I mentioned when we were visiting Paris last summer we had a chance to visit the site. 

The sign for the train station we used each day coming to the city.

My wife is an expert at planning trips and so she's always on the lookout for tips and tricks that savvy travelers have discovered about visiting a given location. While many people were waiting outside in the rain to get into the Louvre, thanks to Laura we only had to wait a few minutes using an entrance underground at a shopping mall. But when you are dealing with the Catacombs, there are no tricks available. You have to get their early, get in line, and wait.

And wait in line we did! We took turns standing in line and walking around over the course of several hours.

As we got closer to the entrance they had these signs in several languages and I especially enjoy that the tour will be unsuitable for those with a "nervous disposition and young children."

It takes so long to get to Catacombs in part because the number of people allowed down into them is closely monitored. If I remember correctly there are 170 people maximum allowed down the stairs at a particular time and they typically seemed to keep it several people below that maximum.

Once you get in however and descend through the narrow hallways you are given an experience unlike anything you ever seen.

Some of the bones are simply stacked some are placed into designed like this heart shaped formation.

Here is a human pillar in one of the hallways.

The Catacombs is tourist attraction that you might want to visit but I'm glad that we took the time and waited in line to experience it.

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