While wandering around killing time before our slot at the catacombs this morning, we stumbled upon the Montparnasse cemetery, which we knew nothing about. It was full of super elaborate tombs and memorials, some of them dating all the way back to 1786. We learned later that a number of famous people are buried there, including Samuel Beckett. Huh. We just thought the place looked cool.
But today’s main attraction was the catacombs. They’re not as ancient as you might think: they were only created in the late 18th century. In an attempt to solve the problem of overcrowded and unhygienic medieval cemeteries, the skeletal remains of millions of long-dead Parisians were exhumed, moved to underground quarries, and (eventually) artfully arranged. We found the whole “empire of death” thing both spooky and fascinating.
And yes, we went up the Eiffel Tower. Worth the hassle? Not really. The view from the elevator was kind of cool, but the experience was more of a “now you can say you’ve done it” kind of thing. It did save us from going all the way to Notre Dame, since we saw the cathedral from up above and that was enough for the boys.
D-day beaches tomorrow…