Things began to change in Paris during the late 10th century. As many inhabitants began to move to the Right Bank, mass cemeteries in the city centers started to pollute the region. Eventually, due to famine, plague, war, and other factors, the graves became excessively overcrowded. As a result, city officials exhumed and relocated the bodies of the dead, stacking skulls upon femurs with eery precision in a long series of tunnels in the Left Bank, now known as The Catacombs.
Today, visitors can venture to Paris’ Denfert Rochereau neighborhood and explore the maze of the mort on their own. Dark and grim, The Catacombs present a spooky look into Paris’ past, while there’s an undeniably enticing element that comes with these expansive tombs.
All photos by Scott Shapiro