Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris

A good travel partner can be hard to find.  When you have a good one you stick with them.  My German friend Manuela and I have been traveling together since we met taking a college class in Dublin in 1999.  And sometimes, you have to take one for the team.  She insisted on taking me to see a cemetery…in Paris.  I wasn’t terribly interested in visiting a bunch of dead people when I had only 9 days in Europe at first.  But, the photographer in me won out and looked forward to the photo opportunities creep factor or no.  And a cemetery originally built in 1804 would surely have some great things to capture.

The weather cooperated despite the cold, very cold weather and periodic rain.  It afforded me time to visit: Oscar Wild (whose grave had been broken sadly only days before by overzealous visitors), Edith Piaf (whose voice transcends her death), Amadeus Modiliani (who like many others only achieved fame after death), Eugene DelaCroix (whose work I only became familiar with while I was visiting Paris), Jim Morrison (I later saw the hotel where he passed away in Paris), Eloise & Abelard (One of the most interesting love stories I have heard in a long time), and various moving shrines to Jewish people who lost their lives in concentration camps from WWII.

The cemetery is huge something like 100+ acres! One could spend all day wandering through its roadmap. If there is anyone in particular you desire to see take a map or you will surely waste your time and get lost.  Avoid the tour guides who accost your ear, come out of nowhere, insist on taking your money, unless you want to make quick work of the cemetery in order to make haste to a cafe or bistro. 

Be aware if you choose this place as your final resting place, unless you are famous, you will be dug up and cremated after 100 years to make room for more!

 

This post is submitted as part of Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge!

36 thoughts on “Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris

  1. I remember going to Pere Lachaise a few years ago. I saw all the magnificent graves, and all the family mausoleums, and when walking out I decided I would be satisfied with a small headstone when I die. Great pictures! 🙂

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  2. I love old cemeteries, they are fascinating……..and yes occasionally creepy. We don’t have anything that large or old here. Interesting that they dig them up and cremate them, I have never heard of it before (apart from when they move a whole cemetery), but making room for more? I guess it makes sense, millions have gone before us, we barely have room for the living on the planet, the dead would be quite astronomical – thats a weird thought for the day………just how many people have died over the years? Thanks, great post

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  3. I grew up next to an old graveyard in Diamond Springs, CA. from the gold rush era. It was overgrown with myrtle and Heavenly trees. It make a great playground during the day, especially for playing Tarzan. At night it was different, of course. I slept outside every summer and the tombstones haunted me. None-the-less, I have a soft spot for cemeteries. –Curt

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  6. Definitely one of my favourite cemeteries. I visited a long time ago, in 2006. At that time, Oscar Wilde’s tomb did not have that protective screen around it. People were free to leave lipstick kisses and letters to the man. There were at least 10 letters when I went by!

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  7. Pere Lachaise is… Weird. 🙂 ultimately it is but a cemetary. My brother says it in now a family estate as we have several members of our family buried there. 🙂 he has a dry sense of humour. I might actually go this year.

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