Video: Descend Into the Catacombs of Paris

See recent posts by Alisha Prakash

You may have braved haunted houses and visited abandoned ghost towns, but you haven’t experienced spooky until you’ve toured the tunnels of the Catacombs of Paris. Dubbed the world’s largest grave, the 200-mile subterranean network holds the remains of six million people in an eerie, yet artistic, arrangement. Exhumed due to overcrowding in cemeteries, the carefully curated skulls and bones that make up the underground labyrinth opened to the public in 1874.

Each year, the macabre display attracts more than one million visitors, who bravely descend into the dark tunnels via narrow steps. Those who are gutsy enough to make the journey should expect damp conditions, with an average temperature that hovers around 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon arriving at the ossuary, visitors will be greeted with the haunting inscription: “Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la mort” (Stop! This is the empire of death). Just keep in mind that a maximum of 200 people are permitted into the tunnels at a time, and queues to enter can be long. Still, it’s a must-see for anyone who’s fascinated by morbid attractions. And although it might not fall along the traditional tourist-trodden path, the bone-lined walls are unlike anything else you’ll experience in the City of Love.

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