The Paris Catacombs:
The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries that hold the remains of approx. 6 million people.
The bones fill a renovated section of caverns and tunnels of the historic Paris stone mines. The Catacombs are often referred to as " the worlds largest grave".
The reason behind this mass grave:
One of the biggest and oldest cemeteries of Paris, the Cemetery of the Saints-Innocents had been in use for almost 10 centuries and had become a source of infection of the local inhabitants. The Paris cemeteries were literally overflowing. Thats why on the 9th of November 1785 the council of state decided to prohibit any further use of the Cemetery of the Saints-Innocents and remove its contents.
Disused Paris quarries and stone mines were chosen to receive the remains and after blessings and consecration of the site on April 7th 1786 the transfers could begin.
Until 1788, always at nightfall, carts loaded with bones and covered with black veils accompanied by priests singing the service of the dead shifted all remains of the cemetery of innocents into the quarries. Then, until 1814, the site received the remains of all the other cemeteries of Paris.
First opened to the public in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century. Many thousands of visitors each year roam through the tunnels under the city of lights.
A place of fear and legends. The Empire of the dead.