"as you are, i was. as i am, remember you shall be" #mementomori
one of the most fascinating things i encountered in #paris
were the #catacombs.
my only true #fear
jobs) is being #underground
in small spaces.
of course, i #believe
if you are afraid of something, you need to face it head on, so i swallowed my anxiety attack and ventured into 5-story deep caves to spend my day with 6-7 million corpses of black death victims.
the tunnels were originally created mining for limestone.
in the late 18th century, mass graveyards around #paris
were overflowing, and so the bones were exhumed and arranged in the existing subterranean tunnels of the city's ancient quarry.
cemeteries began to be emptied in 1786, beginning with #lesinnocents. it took the city 12 years to move all the bones.
as you can see, the #bones
are laid and strategically placed on top of each other for space optimization, and durability i assume.
out of respect (and maybe boredom) many skulls were artistically arranged in #heart
💛 and #cross
many of these corpses died of the plague, or were the impoverished who could not afford a proper grave mark.
at some point, a friendly grandpa took us under his wing to give us a private tour in broken english and decipherable #french.
he showed us interesting things like a skull with two bullet holes in the head (a rarely obvious cause of #death), #skulls
marks and odd #graffiti
marks on their forehead from hoodlums and tourists (who would smooch a skull? #romance
everywhere in paris 💋☠️😝), and shined a flashlight to illuminate how far back the rows of skeletons go (miles and miles). there are over 200 miles of bone-filled tunnels 20 meters deep beneath paris.
as morbid as this all may seem, i take comfort in reminders of the sweetness and brevity of #life. if death doesn't remind you to #live
on your own terms, what else will?
#followmeto #sheisnotlost #wanderlust #travel #travelersnotebook #travellingthroughtheworld #traveling #travelingram #travelogue #travellove