Resting places

Visiting a cemetery seems like a strange thing put on an itinerary especially when the occasion is to celebrate a silver wedding! However, we have been to Père Lachaise before and always promised we would visit again when we had more time.

It is the largest of the municipal cemeteries in Paris and holds the last remains of a number of famous folk. You can get a map to help guide you around 110 acres.

Many families have established ‘telephone box’ sized chapels which house the remains of multiple members of the family. Some are very ornate whilst others simple. They all offer the chance to sit, contemplate and remember.

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As there are in many cemeteries, there are monuments to the fallen. This impressive sculpture is to commemorate those who died in the concentration camps of Flossenburg & Mauthausen

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Many visitors go to  Père Lachaise to search out graves of famous folk. Edith Piaf always has flowers and surprisingly, the grave of Jim Morrison, for many a rock legend is tucked away and quite small.

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Maybe the one graves visited by many from across the world is that of Oscar Wilde. Known not only for his writings but also for his support of legalizing homosexuality his tomb has had to have a glass cover protecting it to stop people leaving kisses on the marble.

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You have to die in Paris or be living there in order to be considered to be buried in this cemetery and even then there is a waiting list for plots!

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5 comments

  • I love cemeteries too, it’s not strange at all. I always find them very peaceful and they are often beautiful places. I lived in Paris (a long time ago now) for a few years and never visited this one! Perhaps I didn’t have the same fondness for them then, as I do now… Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

  • I really enjoyed visiting there when I was in Paris, such an interesting place and so beautiful too

  • Where would you go while you waited? 🙂 Being serious, I really like my local cemetery!

  • I never would have thought I’d hear of a waiting list for a cemetery. Kind of boggles the mind.
    Where I live we have cemetery tours in our large main one. A lot of interesting stories in the stones. Maybe it’s the tour guide who’s so knowledgeable that makes it so interesting. I agree, one can learn a lot by visiting a cemetery.

  • I love going to cemeteries. Don’t think it’s weird at all. There’s an ace one in Vienna, though I forget the name, and the Necropolis in Glasgow and Highgate in London are pretty good too.

    They always remind me of the last line in Middlemarch: ‘…for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.’

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