The Cataphiles: Moses Gates on Exploring the Paris Catacombs - Atlas Obscura

Brooklyn, NY

The Cataphiles: Moses Gates on Exploring the Paris Catacombs

Join noted urban explorer, Moses Gates, for an illustrated lecture on the history of the Catacombs.

Though it’s known as the “City of Light,” there are 170 miles of absolute darkness that exist under Paris – a network of limestone quarries dotted with WWII bunkers, ossuaries, unofficial art galleries, and other assorted surprises colloquially known as “The Catacombs.” It is home to a subculture of people of all ages, interests, and nationalities who make a hobby of exploring and utilizing these and other hidden spaces throughout Paris – the “Cataphiles.”

Moses Gates will be covering the history, culture, and structures of this underground world in a slideshow presentation, as well as explaining how you, too, can become a Cataphile.

Moses Gates is an urban planner, licensed New York City tour guide, and visiting assistant professor of demographics at the Pratt Institute. He is the author of "Hidden Cities," a memoir of urban exploration around the world available from Tarcher/Penguin March 21st.


This is part of the “Atlas Obscura Speakers” series of talks at Observatory, 543 Union Street (at Nevins), Brooklyn, NY 11215. 543 Union Street is the large red brick building on right. Go right on Nevins and left down the alley through large black gates. Gallery is the second door on the left. Enter Observatory via Proteus Gowanus Gallery.


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