Tickets Paris

The Ossuary at the Catacombs of Paris

Paris Catacombs Tour & TicketsParis Catacombs Ossuary

What is the Paris Catacombs Ossuary?

The municipal ossuary in the Paris Catacombs is one of the world’s largest and one of the handful located underground, holding the remains of more than 6 million people. Created as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries, the loosely piled bones were carefully organized in walls. Initially a disorganized bone repository, renovations would transform the caverns into a visitable mausoleum. Although the ossuary comprises only a small section of the underground tunnels, Parisians often refer to the entire tunnel network as the catacombs.

Paris Catacombs Ossuary quick facts

  • Address: Place Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France
  • Date of opening: 1809
  • Timings: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:45am to 8:30pm
  • Annual visitors: 550,000 (approx.)

Why visit the Paris Catacombs Ossuary?

  • Rich historical significance: Delve into the depths of Parisian history as you explore the Catacombs, originally limestone quarries transformed into a vast underground ossuary in the late 18th century to alleviate the city's cemetery overflow problem.
  • Unique cultural experience: The Catacombs have inspired countless works of literature, art, and film, from Victor Hugo's iconic novel Les Misérables to modern-day thrillers.
  • Mesmerizing artistic displays: Marvel at the hauntingly beautiful arrangements of human bones and skulls that line the tunnels of the Catacombs crafted by anonymous artisans.
  • Architectural intrigue: Explore the architectural wonders hidden beneath the streets of Paris, from vaulted ceilings and stone walls to narrow passageways and hidden chambers.
  • An unforgettable experience: Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, the Paris Catacombs promises an experience that will stay with you long after you've emerged back into the light of day.

Paris Catacombs Ossuary highlights

Port-Mahon Corridor

Lay your eyes on the mini-replica of the stunning Port Mahon Palace in Menorca, Spain, crafted by Francois Decure, a French quarryman, once a soldier imprisoned at the palace he recreated in stone. Sculpted on a limestone wall, he tragically passed away at the same spot while working on an access stairway for visitors.


Step into a realm that holds the remains of over 6 million Parisians dating back to the 1700s, with millions of skulls and bones meticulously arranged in eerie symmetrical patterns that stretch as far as the eye can see. With the bone-chilling entry inscription and the infamous Barrel of Passion, the Ossuary is where the line between the living and the dead blurs into one chilling experience.

The Quarryman's Footpath

Long before the Catacombs were as we know them today, quarrymen used this footpath to fetch water for their construction projects and to wash themselves. Along the Quarryman’s Footpath, you'll encounter altars, tombs, and plaques commemorating the past.

Underground well

Nestled in the depths of the tunnels, there's a wellspring of water so mesmerizingly turquoise that it'll take your breath away. Despite being centuries old, it's still brimming with crystal-clear water, ready to enchant visitors with its beauty and history.

Entry sign

Before you even take the first step into the depths of the unknown, something catches your eye – the entry sign. This sign serves as a chilling reminder of the macabre ambiance that awaits you inside. Etched into its surface is a haunting inscription that sends a shiver down your spine: ‘Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la Mort’ – translated to English, it means, ‘Stop! This is the Empire of the Dead’.

Barrel of Passion

Nestled in the Crypt of Passion area, this massive, symmetrical structure shaped like a barrel, constructed entirely from skulls and bones is a jaw-dropping sight. The Barrel of Passion actually supports the roof above, making it an essential part of the Catacombs' infrastructure.

Accessibility at the Paris Catacombs Ossuary

It is advised that the following visitors skip visiting the Paris Catacombs Ossuary: those with mobility disabilities, individuals with cardiac or respiratory issues, pregnant women, and sensitive visitors. There are 131 steps at the entrance and 112 steps to climb back up, and the Paris Catacombs are not wheelchair accessible.

Visually disabled visitors must mandatorily be accompanied. Guide dogs for visually disabled visitors are allowed. However, white canes are not allowed because of insufficient space.

Frequently asked questions about the Paris Catacombs Ossuary

What is the Paris Catacombs Ossuary?

The Paris Catacombs ossuary is one of the world’s largest and one of the handful located underground ossuaries, holding the remains of more than 6 million people to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries. Although the ossuary comprises only a small section of the underground tunnels, the entire tunnel network is referred to as the catacombs.

Where can I buy Paris Catacombs ossuary tickets?

You can purchase tickets for Paris Catacombs ossuary on the day at the Paris Catacombs or online.

What are the timings of the Paris Catacombs ossuary?

The Paris Catacombs ossuary is typically open from 9:45am to 8:30pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

Where is the Paris Catacombs ossuary located?

The Paris Catacombs ossuary is located at 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France.

Is the Paris Catacombs ossuary wheelchair accessible?

No, the Paris Catacombs ossuary is not wheelchair accessible. We recommend that visitors with mobility issues skip this attraction.

Is photography allowed at the Paris Catacombs ossuary?

Yes, personal photography is allowed at the Paris Catacombs ossuary. However, the use of flash photography and tripods is prohibited.

More Reads


Famous Remains

Plan your visit