In April of 2010, I took my school kids on a field trip that no sane teacher in her right mind would take kids on - but since I'm not exactly the most sane person, this was a field trip perfect for me!
|Bones, bones, bones - that's what's hiding under the streets of Paris.|
|The Catacombs of Paris feature morbid designs such as this, complete with bullet-riddled skulls.|
|Markers such as this tell us where the Paris Catacombs bones were disinterred from.|
We were directed to 1 Place Denfert-Rochereau, which was on a street corner: a small, dark-green building with a single door and a tiny plaque overhead that stated simply: Les Catacombs. I negotiated an entrance deal with the gentleman at the door and got us in as a group. (Not phoning ahead when you're with a group of seventeen people is not technically a courteous or smart thing to do while traveling! Be sure to phone ahead while traveling in large groups.)
|The entrance to the Paris Catacombs|
|Walking in an underground tunnel towards the "Empire of the Dead"|
|Walls of bones guide your way through the underground passages.|
|On our way out of the Catacombs.|
Upon emergence from the Catacombs, we spotted two skulls sitting on a shelf. I inquired in my rudimentary French what they were for. I was informed that they had been confiscated THAT DAY from a tourist's backpack! My students, bless them, were appalled that someone would desecrate the Catacombs in that manner. What great students I have! Then it was back onto the streets of Paris to wind our way back to our hotel, leaving the world of the dead behind us.
|People actually tried to steal these skulls - such disrespect!|