Paris – March 16, 2018

Paris - Louvre and Catacombs

Friday was time for the Louvre in the morning.  The Louvre has an exhibit area of 782,910 square feet.  Originally build as a fortress in late 12th to 13th century under Philip II and opened as a museum in 1793.

The Louvre Pyramid was built in 1989 and is the main entrance to the museum.  Once you enter, you head down stairs to floor -1 to begin the tour.

First stop was the Nike of Samothrace or Winged Victory from 190 BC.

We made sure to get a photo with the Jesus swag bag, guy with knife in head, guy with bigger knife in head, angel boogieboarding, and of course the Mona Lisa.

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. Extending south from the Barrière d’Enfer (“Gate of Hell”) former city gate, this ossuary was created as part of the effort to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries. Preparation work began not long after a 1774 series of gruesome Saint Innocents-cemetery-quarter basement wall collapses added a sense of urgency to the cemetery-eliminating measure, and from 1786, nightly processions of covered wagons transferred remains from most of Paris’ cemeteries to a mine shaft opened near the Rue de la Tombe-Issoire.

The ossuary remained largely forgotten until it became a novelty-place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century; after further renovations and the construction of accesses around Place Denfert-Rochereau, it was open to public visitation from 1874. Since January 1, 2013, the Catacombs number among the 14 City of Paris Museums managed by Paris Musées. Although the ossuary comprises only a small section of the underground “carrières de Paris” (“quarries of Paris”), Parisians presently often refer to the entire tunnel network as “the catacombs”.

Catacombs of Paris