After coming back from Versailles, we made our way to the Catacombs. I remembered coming here with my family when I was a lot younger, and it certainly left quite an impression. That being said, it made it let less of an impression the second time. It was still dark, damp, sad, and creepy, but not as creepy as I remembered it being, which isn’t too surprising since I’m quite a bit older.
For those of you who don’t know, the catacombs in Paris are a network of underground passageways and caves, many left over from mining that went on under the city a few hundred years ago. When Paris’s cemeteries began to overflow, the city started moving bodies into the old tunnels. Most of the bodies were moved between 1786 and 1788, though some were added later. The bones of more than 6 million people are located in a small section of the tunnels that are open to the public. There are so many bones that they are stacked to form walls and patterns. All of this makes it understandably disturbing.
After a long day of exploring Versailles (see previous post) and then the catacombs, we were unsurprisingly exhausted, so we went back to the apartment.
The next morning, after grabbing some pastries from the bakery just down the street from out apartment again (I would get so fat if I lived that close to a bakery), we walked to back to Notre Dame.
This time, we actually went inside. It was gorgeous. I’m a fan off Gothic cathedrals, and this is probably the most iconic one there is, so it was cool to finally see the inside.
We then went hopped on the metro to Montmarte (a hill/area in Paris) to visit Sacre Cour, another cathedral. It’s not as cool as Notre Dame, in my opinion, but the views of Paris from the hill it sits on are spectacular (the only thing you can’t see is the Eiffel Tower, but you probably could if you climbed the dome of the church. We were way too tired.)
We then made our way back toward where we were staying, deciding to stop at the Pantheon with the time we had left.
The Pantheon in Paris was once a church, but now it’s more of a place to honor historically famous and important French people. The crypt under the building is huge and houses the tombs of several well known people, from philosophers to writers to scientists (hover over or click on the pictures to read the captions).
After the Pantheon, we headed back to our apartment one last time to pack up our belongings and head to the airport. Our long weekend in Paris had come to a close. (And finally, months after I visited Paris, I’ve finished all the posts about it.)