How 6 millions Parisians were buried in Paris' depths

BonesBones | ©Joe deSousa / CC0

In 1785, they chose old quarries of Tombe-Issoire, in Montsouris' plain, to be the future Parisian underground ossuary.

Guillaumot, the quarries general inspector, was in charge of the landscaping. What a mess!

They had to evacuate bones from the old Innocents' cemetery: here, corpses from more than 20 parishes used to pile up since centuries!

Add to this corpses remains from 16 Parisian cemeteries closed between 1792 and 1814...

About 6 millions people were buried in Catacombes: their bones rest on 11 000 square metres, 20 metres deep, in a place which was named after Rome's old catacombs.

Bones were put away along galleries: the wall reaches 30 metres thick!

Transfers lasted from April 1786 to January 1788. And in 1810, bones became Parisians' favourite attraction!