Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Paris day 2: Catacombs

The catacombs

There are tunnels that run under Paris. They are now from a disused quarry. I queued for ages, purchased a ticket and made my way down the steps, one by one, deeper and deeper. Dark, isolated, empty, yet calm. First visitors familiarise themselves with what it was like to work here with the alcoves, tunnels and surprises.

(I used my flash to take this picture!!! It was rather tight and dark)
Through the workshop is the Port-Mahon Corridor where there are sculptures by a quarryman, Decure.
There are twists and turns and despite there being 200 people underground I was on my own.
The Ossuary door is framed by geometric figures on pillars and an inscription that says 'stop! This is the empire of death'. The alcoves lining the tunnels are piled high with bones and various inscriptions on the fragility of life are on the walls.
Six million Parisians lie here. There home was the Cimetiere des Saints-Innocents which was also closed for public health reasons. In 1785 a decree required the removal of human remains and the first bones arrived in the Ossuary in 1786. In 1810 the bones were arranged in an orderly fashion.
The bones are piled high and skulls are arranged within them. Sometimes there were patterns: crosses, hearts, tombstones....it is truly superb.
I walked along the human remains barely feeling any humanity as I walked along alone.
What a wonderful place.
I still haven't worked out how to use this blogger iPad application. The pictures don't look so good and heaven knows how to position them properly!


Blogger WeepingCross said...

Those are wonderful pictures! If you think they're duff the reality must be amazing.

8:26 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

They were mostly in the dark with light casting shadows. It was hard to take the pictures!! I am pleased to hear they come accross alright.

I really do need to go to Kutna Hora sometime.

8:28 PM  

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