Katafily - Pirates of the Paris catacombs, carried away by the literature
• Katafily - Pirates of the Paris catacombs, carried away by the literature
Perhaps there is no person who has not heard of the Paris catacombs, but how many people know about the library in these catacombs. However, this is no ordinary library with a reception and placing your order, in which there is a comfortable place for visitors. This library and its modest but carefully selected collection of books waiting in the eternal darkness of underground pilgrims who will come into it in rubber boots and helmets with lanterns. To find the underground "city of books", it will take much longer than a regular library card.
The world literally blew photos François Klein - German photographer who claims that it is always immersed in the environment that he photographs, and this allows him to take pictures as objective as possible and realistic. To remove a wonderful library that exists deep beneath the pavement of Paris, he went down to a depth of 35 meters, having become acquainted with the new generation of researchers catacombs, which he called "underground pirates."
To get into deeply secretive micro-community that calls itself katafily (cataphiles), it may take years. Close friends and family katafilov most do not even know about the night habits of the people they seemed to know everything. They have no idea that those with whom they spend every day, regularly disappear at night under the ground and explore an intricate network of tunnels and chambers. These nocturnal habits are completely illegal, but it's not the only reason why they are kept in the strictest confidence.
Only a small part of the catacombs, which holds a pile of human bones for centuries, is open to the public as a tourist attraction. The rest (about 300 km of tunnels) are patrimony katafilov who do not like to share their territory, especially with beginners, who accidentally find them the way. "All katafilov united by their fear of losing their shelter," - said Klein.
Francois Klein has found its way into the catacombs, walking along the Petite Ceinture - former Paris ring railway of 32 kilometers, which was abandoned in 1934. At first glance, this railroad, and so like a place that is in limbo between our and underground worlds, because it was forgotten for 80 years. It is at this rail are several secret entrances to the catacombs. At Petite Ceinture Klein met people who eventually introduced him to katafilami.
Francois quickly succumbed to the charms of "parallel world in which the lack of natural light creates a completely different view of the passage of time." He learned that some katafily deliberately staying underground for a long time to experience the kind of seclusion, enjoying the caves away from the noise and stress of the city.
The first hatch to Francois in a secluded corner of the center of Paris opened a person who is known by the nickname "Dirty". Most of the community members know each other only by nicknames. This anonymity and specific atmosphere of darkness, silence and a sense of danger is real magic.
After several kilometers narrow passages and countless passages and trails, François Klein with the accompanying reached first rooms constructed and equipped katafilami. Some caves have existed previously and diggers only convert them, while others dug caves katafily themselves and furnish according to their tastes. So an alternative space for artistic expression was created in tens of meters under the ground in Paris many kilometers away from the entrance. Here you can find quite unusual forms of painting and plastic art.
"Tourists are not welcome here - Klein explains, acknowledging that some hardcore katafily and it is still considered a tourist -. Local underground inhabitants try to scare tourists insults and homemade smoke bomb, and steal and burn all the existing catacombs card. the reason for this hostility lies in the fact that the more people spend their time underground, the greater the risk of unwanted attention to the catacombs.
In this case, people often get lost in the huge maze of passages. This is a dangerous place, even for experienced katafilov: it is not uncommon breaking ceilings, disorientation, cuts and injuries from sharp stones. Therefore Parisian diggers even vital information, such as the ever-changing entry points are transmitted orally in person to whom trust. "
Often Parisians drinking wine or coffee in a variety of the city's cafes, watch the surreal scene: the figures disappear one after another, beneath the surface, and then closed the hatch behind them from the inside. François remembers the first time he was in the catacombs, the first they went down to 35 meters down into the darkness. Then they had to squeeze through a very narrow opening to reach a vast cave gallery, covered with paintings. Then they walked a long way in the dark to his waist in water, to find an underground beach katafilov.
"It is likely that no matter how many times I go down into the catacombs, I will always be a tourist - concluded by François Klein -. Although the label" tourist "I really do not like, but to become katafilom, need much more than sporadic visits from time to time in the underworld. It should really devote themselves to the darkness and become a real pirate of the underworld. "