Sunday, September 29, 2013

The serenity of skulls.

There were plenty of places in Paris that I didn't get to that every visitor is supposed to see.  Places like the Louvre.  Yeah, I didn't make it to the Louvre.  But there were several iconic places that I just couldn't not see.  On that list were the Catacombes de Paris.  My friends know my fascination with human skulls, so how could I miss an entire, ancient collection of human bones arranged with surprising charm and artistry.

My visit was made particularly interesting since I had recently read a historical novel titled Pure by Andrew Miller.  The book is a fictionalized look at Jean-Baptiste Barratte, a French engineer who in 1785 was given the assignment of removing all the human remains from Les Innocents, a Parisian church-yard cemetary.  Those bones were carted off and ended up in the catacombs.

Even though I've seen numerous photographs from the catacombs, the experience of actually being there was not what I expected.  I was surprised by the long, underground stone corridors that weren't filled with bones; by the occasional soaring architecture of rooms along the way; even by the calm and serenity of a place that I had expected to inspire different emotions.  Here are a few photos and a link to a Vine video from my visit including a couple of images featuring Felix.

View a Vine video from my visit here.

No comments:

Post a Comment