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Video: Secrets of the most famous catacombs in Europe: Creepy nursery, Napoleon's techniques, harem of slave traders, etc
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Mysterious dungeons are a place where skeletons live, treasures are hidden and, in general, various adventures take place. In movies and games. And in life, this is a valuable historical heritage of different cities and sights that are worth visiting if the opportunity arises. Here are just a few of the famous catacombs.
Capuchin catacombs, Italy
The stories of mummies and dungeons are just about the Capuchin catacombs. True, local mummies are very calm, but there are many of them. The fact is that these are, in fact, burial catacombs. They preserve the bodies of about eight thousand noble and simply worthy residents of the city of Palermo in Sicily. It doesn't look like a warehouse at all: mummies not only lie, but also stand, and hang, and form whole compositions. This is not a mockery of the bodies, on the contrary, the owners of the bodies sought to get into the catacombs after death and demonstrate that one must be ready for the finality of one's life - and therefore, think about the soul and life after the grave.
The bodies are divided by exposition. There are corridors of monks, men, women. A separate corridor is completely dedicated to virgins - mummies of young people who did not know the sex life are decorated in it with metal crowns as a sign of their special purity. The impressionable, however, should not look into the children's room, in the central niche of which a long-dead boy sits in a rocking chair with a little sister in his arms, as if lulling her to sleep.
But the most famous children's mummy does not rest here, but in a separate chapel. This is the one-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, who amazes with how her body was preserved thanks to the skill of the embalmer. Now Rosalia was placed in a container with nitrogen, because due to the influx of tourists, from whose breath the air in the chapel became moist, the body was under threat of loss of safety.
Paris catacombs, France
If you happened to watch the thriller "Paris - the City of the Dead", then you still do not know anything about the catacombs (except, of course, that they are near Paris). The real dungeon is not famous at all for the opportunity to find the philosopher's stone by Nicholas Flammel. First of all, the catacombs are a touch of history and belong to the Carnavale Museum. They represent the remains of Roman quarries. And from the end of the eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth centuries, many human remains were brought here - at least six million.
The catacombs have to be constantly fortified, because part of the city, along with houses and public transport routes, is located directly above these huge voids. For the first time they began to do this under Louis XVI on his royal order. The history of the transformation of the catacombs into a city cemetery is connected with the history of the development of sanitation.
By the middle of the eighteenth century, the layer of burials in cemeteries went 10 meters deep, and the grave mounds reached two meters. The earth and its inhabitants could not cope with so many dead bodies, and the sanitary situation around the burials seriously deteriorated (the description of the stench, from which both wine and milk seemed to sour, will say something about it). In 1780, the wall of one of the cemeteries collapsed, and the basements of the nearest houses were filled with human remains - little pleasant and much dangerous in terms of epidemiology.
In general, the authorities began to dismantle the graves and move the remains to the catacombs. The bones were thoroughly disinfected before being moved. They were neatly laid out in the catacombs, but it turned out to be problematic to sign where the mortal body was kept: many different people were extracted from one grave. Meanwhile, it is known that such celebrities as Charles Perrault, Maximilian Robespierre, François Rabelais, Blaise Pascal, Antoine Lavoisier found their last refuge in the catacombs. The entrance to the catacombs is located near the Danfer-Rochereau metro, electricity is inside.
By the way, Emperor Napoleon III had a strange habit of receiving important guests in the underground cemetery. Nowadays no more than two hundred people can be in the dungeons at the same time, so you can often see a long line at the entrance. During the Second World War, there was a secret German bunker in the catacombs - and the Nazis would be very surprised to learn that the Resistance headquarters was located just five hundred meters in the same dungeons.
Odessa catacombs, Ukraine
In the same way, the old quarries in Odessa turned into mysterious dungeons, only they remained here not from the Romans, but from the Russian Empire. Cheap stone was mined here for the construction of new houses. Already by the beginning of the twentieth century, underground passages piercing the ground under the city became the cause of the constant failure and collapse of houses. Nevertheless, the extraction of stone in some parts of the quarries is still going on, and the dungeons are becoming more and more extensive.
The catacombs became famous when they were chosen as a refuge by partisans during the Great Patriotic War. Before that, smugglers hid their goods in quarries - from the "warehouses" they calmly carried it to any part of the city, where wells emerged from underground corridors. One such well was located, for example, near the Odessa Opera House. According to rumors, the main "headquarters" of the Soviet criminal elements were also located in these dungeons.
A sinister history of the slave trade is associated with the catacombs. The bandits caught beautiful, sometimes even noble women in the city and kept them in well-furnished underground rooms. Then they looked for them, depending on the woman's nobility, or an individual buyer in Turkey, or a pimp-customer for a consignment of "goods" to brothels. Many women, realizing why they were being kept in the dungeon, committed suicide out of despair. They were buried right there, in the side corridors. They were able to stop the bandits only after they stole Princess Lopukhina: a real army was urgently sent to search for and release her, and in the end they found her and other captives, and the slave traders were caught and tried.
Detachments of history lovers constantly descend here (thanks to whom, I must say, the catacombs were significantly mapped), as well as simply tourists and playing children. Alas, it often ends in tragedy - the catacombs are a real labyrinth. The bodies of some of the missing have not yet been found; it is difficult to even imagine how far they have climbed in search of an exit to the top. Odessa quarries seem endless.
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