Catacombs: In the modern spotlight

photography of paris catacombs
Photo by Christophe Fouin, Image Courtesy of

Deep in the depths of Paris, lies a world that many people choose not to venture into or explore.  The underground world of Paris can be seen as scary and eerie but holds many historical attractions like, the Metro, the Sewers and the Paris Catacombs.  One of the most mysterious and dark attractions in Paris, that holds more secrets than the amount of bones found in it, is known as the Catacombs.  It is ironic that as Paris is known as the “City of Lights,” but the underground world is known for being dark and mysterious.

The Catacombs are widely known for hosting millions of bones and displaying art that tells many stories from years ago.  From being a hideout spot during the World War II to hosting private parties in secrecy.  The Catacombs have come to fame in more ways than one.  With its abundant amount of history taking the spotlight, most people do not know the role the Catacombs have taken in the modern world, above all the ground.

The Catacombs have been showcased in numerous amounts of fiction narratives and also have been displayed in some motion pictures.  In the book, Les Miserables, Victor Hugo wrote about the catacombs and also described the detailed entities of the tunnel system.  In the novel, ‘Foucaul’s Pendulem’ written by Umberto Eco, he described the catacombs as a resting place of a parchment concerning the Templars order.  In Robinson Wells’ novel, ‘The Counterfeit’, he used the catacombs as a fictitious Illuminati meeting place, which is depicted because the catacombs were sometimes used to host meetings.  In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story ‘ The Cask of Amontillado’ the main character, Montressor, is depicted as being trapped inside the Catacombs.  So as the Catacombs are known for being a tourist “hot spot” they have also inspired the works of many writers and directors.

With the popularity of the Catacombs growing, there is no telling how the recognition of it may grow.  There are many Catacombs in the world but the Paris Catacombs are incomparable to the others.  With the historical background and modern aspect, the Paris Catacombs are in a realm of their own.  The Catacombs are host to a perplexing underground world beneath the “City of Lights”.

-Brittney Howell


Works Cited

“Catacombs of Paris France a Famous Burial Place.” Catacombs of Paris France a Famous Burial Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

“Catacombes in Paris.” Catacombes in Paris. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

“Catacombs Of Paris.” Globerove. N.p., 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

“Discover All 14 City of Paris Museums.” Catacombes De Paris. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

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