"the carrion stench of the Cimetières des Innocents"

Le Cimetière des Innocents was a Parisian cemetery used as a mass grave between the 12th and 18th centuries. It was named after the Biblical story of the Massacre of the Innocents.

Eventually it became overcrowded and the bodies were exhumed and moved to the unused subterranean spaces under Montparnasse known as the Catacombs.