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ripening grapes in the Loire

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Paris’ Underground Wonders and Grisly History

paris_sewers2Paris is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in the world thanks to its reputation as a glittering capital of fashion, art and culture. Not many who visit the capital get to see the more macabre sights that it has to offer, so if you do visit the city try to get off the beaten track of attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, and discover some of its underground wonders and grisly history.

Les Catacombes

Beneath the bustling streets of Paris is home to the city’s most famous ghoulish attraction, Les Catacombes. The tunnels below the city were created due to the overflow of dead in the cemeteries and countless remains were exhumed and laid to rest in the catacombs during the late 18th century. Taking the spiral staircase deep underground you will eventually arrive at a maze of tunnels steeped in history which you can explore while eerie skulls stare blankly out at you.

Queues for the Catacombs can be extremely long, especially on the weekends, so be prepared to wait for around for at least half an hour. The best way to avoid the queues is to come as early as possible as the busiest time is around mid day.

Sewer Museum

Although the name suggests an attraction most people would rather give a miss the sewer museum can make for a memorable experience. Taking the steep staircase down to the Musee des Egouts de Paris and you will enter the bowels of Paris where you will walk along walkways that are suspended over the passing sewage systems.

Don’t eat before you come here as the smell can be quite overpowering and you may end up losing your lunch. The museum is located a short ten minute walk away from the Eiffel Tower along the River Seine.

Cemeteries

A trip to the cemetery may not be as strange as you may think in Paris. You will often see fellow travellers exploring the graves looking for the sites of famous people in history such as Oscar Wilde, lovers walking hand in hand and artists sketching onto notepads.

Many people come to visit the grave of rock legend Jim Morrison and leave cigarettes and alcohol as a sign of respect. There are also the graves of famous residents such as the author Samuel Beckett and the poet Charles Baudelaire in the Cimetiere Montparnasse. Should you be considering a trip to Paris, look out for cheapflights on the internet that will save you money before you even arrive.

Musee Dupuytren

The Musee Dupuytren exhibits some chilling waxworks showing oozing bodies and the result of various illnesses right down to the last detail. This collection was made during the 1800’s and subsequently almost lost due to a lack of funds but fortunately most of the collection was saved. These days you can wander past jars of brains and look at various wax models afflicted with different diseases such as tumours.

The museum is only open on weekdays except university holidays so be sure to check ahead before you set off otherwise you may arrive to the disappointment of it being closed.
Eurostar trainBy train (Eurostar/TGV) to Paris

 

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