Visit and wonder at the amazing formation of the Barrel of Passion at the Paris Catacombs using your Catacombs Paris tickets. Located at the heart of the Catacombs, is The Barrel of Passion which is a barrel shaped structure comprising bones and skulls. This spooky yet amazing display is a huge structure in an area known as Crypt of Passion in the Catacombs holding up the roof as a support system. The structure was meant to be shaped like Obelix which is a cartoon character from the French comic book series, Asterix. The origin of the barrel is unclear but it was brought to fame during the illegal underground party in 1897.
You can traverse from the Upper Catacombs to the Lower Catacombs by walking down on a support ramp. By this way, you can catch a glimpse of the inner workings of how the underground area was organised. You can see a lot of functioning galleries below the passageway to the cemetery of Montparnasse where Serge Gainsbourg was buried. The authorities of the Catacombs decided to get rid of the cemeteries in the Lower Catacombs like the former Parisian cemeteries. However, they were not removed completely and the bones are seen lying on the ground. The cataphiles visiting this place simply walk over the bones.
Witness the ancient structure of Citadel de Mahon at the Paris Catacombs museum with your Catacombs Paris tickets. This stone sculpture carved in limestone wall is a replica of the Port Mahon Palace of Menorca in Spain. It was built by a quarry worker, Francoise Decuré who was imprisoned in Spain for five years. He also started building a staircase around Citadel de Mahon so that people could easily access his masterpiece. Irony is that Decuré was killed by the same sculpture he built when the part above his head collapsed and fell on him thus taking his life away.
Make use of your Catacombs tickets to see and learn about the history of The Well in the ossuary. You will come across a huge spiral staircase in the museum that ends in a small well. This well is the first geographical drill in the land of Paris that was intended to see the various geographical layers beneath the well. The water in this well is so clear that you will not know if water is available unless you look for it. The well signifies the Quarryman Humour which is that new quarry workers were sent to the well and they would get their feet wet not knowing that water is present.
Location: 1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (place Denfert-Rochereau), 75014 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9:45 AM to 8:30 PM
Duration of visit: 1 hour
The last admission to the Catacombs is accepted till 7:30 PM after which the ticket office is closed.
The Paris Catacombs are closed on all Mondays and certain holidays like January 1, May 1 and December 25. However, they are open on all public holidays of Rome including July 14, August 15, November 1 and November 11.