The Catacombs of Paris.  Gilles Thomas / Emile Gaffard

The Catacombs of Paris. Gilles Thomas / Emile Gaffard

The catacombs of Paris


Gilles Thomas
Photographe : Emmanuel Gaffard

Paris, the City of Light, also has its share of darkness. Beneath the capital, a subterranean labyrinth of former quarries holds the remains of six million Parisians, moved here after a decision in the late 18th century to close cemeteries within the city walls to protect public health.

This guide accompanies visitors through the vast maze of sombre galleries and narrow corridors where limestone was once mined, and leads them between the walls of bones and macabrely romantic compositions of this fascinating “empire of death” that is the Ossuary.

A moving testimony to the history of Paris, the unique Catacombs extend an invitation to explore a realm where time stands still.

With a detailed map of the Catacombs and the Ossuary !


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«  A fascinating guide to the dark side of the city of light. »

Paris voice


Gilles Thomas, underground historian, co-edited the work « Atlas du Paris souterrain » (Parigramme, 2001). He also provides services as a technical consultant for feature films—such as Ratatouille—, documentaries (BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic...), journalistic, literary and academic projects.
Emmanuel Gaffard is a photographer specialised in artificial underground cavities. He has notably produced the photographs for « Atlas du Paris souterrain » (Parigramme, 2001) and is the author of the work « Paris souterrain » (Parigramme, 2007).
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