The Paris catacombs: Remains and reunion beneath the Postrevolutionary City

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Although the Paris Catacombs have been a popular space in Paris since opening to the public in 1809, this is the first academic study that seeks to situate the public ossuary within a postrevolutionary context. By examining both the early institutional history and popular reception of the Catacombs, this article demonstrates how the Catacombs were instrumental in helping the population process and resolve the dislocation of the Revolution. Specifically, it examines how visitors used the underground space to express anxieties about revolutionary values like equality and to create a sense of historical stability after the Revolution's radical rupture with the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-536
Number of pages28
JournalFrench Historical Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Catacombs
  • Empire
  • Paris
  • Postrevolutionary France
  • Restoration


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