i did know about the catacombs of paris, but i didn´t know about the walls of bones…this is beautiful scary …
some info about how and why there are all these bones in the underground of paris from wikipedia:
The Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris are a famous underground ossuary in Paris, France. Located south of the city’s former “Barrière d’Enfer” city gate (at today’s Denfert-Rochereau), the ossuary fills a renovated section of caverns and tunnels that are the remains of Paris’ stone mines. Opened in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century, and has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1867. Following an incident of vandalism, they were closed to the public for an indefinite amount of time in September, 2009.
The official name for the catacombs is l’Ossuaire Municipal. Although this cemetery covers only a small section of underground tunnels comprising “les carrières de Paris” (“the quarries of Paris”), Parisians today often refer to the entire tunnel network as “the catacombs”.
Paris since Roman times buried its dead to the outskirts of the city, but this changed with the rise of Christianity and its practice of burying its faithful deceased in consecrated ground in and adjoining its churches. By the 10th century, because of the city’s expansion over the centuries, there were many parish cemeteries within city limits, even in central locations. When Paris’ population began to rise rapidly in the following centuries, some of these cemeteries became overcrowded where expansion was impossible. Soon only the most wealthy could afford church burials, which led to the opening in the early 12th century of a central burial ground for more common burials: initially dependant upon the St. Opportune church, this cemetery near Paris’ central Les Halles district was renamed as the ‘Saints-Innocents cemetery’ under its own church and parish towards the end of the same century.
The practice common then for burying the lesser-wealthy dead was mass inhumation. Once an excavation in one section of the cemetery was full, it would be covered over and another opened. Few of the dead buried in this way had the privilege of coffins; often the casket used for a burial ceremony would be re-used for the next. Thus the residues resulting from the decaying of organic matter, a process often chemically accelerated with the use of lime, entered directly into the earth, creating a situation quite unacceptable for a city whose then principle source of liquid sustenance was well-water.
By the 17th century the sanitary conditions around Saints-Innocents cemetery was unbearable. As it was one of Paris’ most sought-after cemeteries and a large source of revenue for the parish and church, the clergy had continued burials there even when its grounds were filled to overflowing. By then the cemetery was lined on all four sides with “charniers” reserved for the bones of the dead exhumed from mass graves that had “lain” long enough for all the flesh they contained to decompose. Once emptied, a mass sepulture would be used again, but even then the earth was already filled beyond saturation with decomposable human remains.
A series of ineffective decrees limiting the use of the cemetery did little to remedy the situation, and it wasn’t until the late 18th century that it was decided to create three new large-scale suburban burial grounds to the outskirts of the city, and to condemn all existing parish cemeteries within city limits.
buahhh…i think the city of love lost a bit od it´s romance for me now…