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Explore the catacombs of Paris

By: Shea Gunther on Oct. 25, 2011, 11:10 a.m.
Wall with a cross in Paris catacombs

Photo: jessica mullen/Flickr

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Danger of collapse

In 1774, a quarry tunnel collapsed, taking a few buildings down with it. More collapses followed until King Louis XVI hired architect Charles Axel Guillaumot to stabilize the remaining tunnels. As they worked in the quarries, the men dug connecting tunnels, many which were used to house bones when the king ordered that Paris' graveyards be emptied.