MNN Galleries

Explore the catacombs of Paris

Oct. 25, 2011, 11:10 a.m.
Paris catacombs as art

Photo: albany_tim/Flickr

5 of 11

Macabre art

When the catacombs were built, they were simply holding areas for bones; there was no design to how they were deposited. In 1820, Louis-Étienne Héricart de Thury pushed through a renovation that turned the catacombs into the works of art they are today. He used graveyard decorations and tombstones to help create walls and other formations.