Fontaine des Innocents, Place Jean du Bellay, 1er

Fontaine des Innocents, Place Jean du Bellay, 1er

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For centuries Parisian remains were piled up in the Cimetiere des Saints-Innocents but by the late 18th century the stench and the danger of epidemics were so great that a general outcry arose. To remedy the situation the city converted the quarries in the fourteenth arrondissement into the Catacombs, a maze of tunnels and rooms filled with bones and skulls. The transfer of the cemetery’s remains to the newly opened Catacombs started in April of 1786 and took fifteen months. Night after night eerie processions carried draped remains from the different cemeteries of Paris to the Catacombs where an estimated two to six million people now lay.