Cimetière du Père-Lachaise


After visiting the Antique market at Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen last spring, we took the metro to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the famous cemetery where Jim Morrison and Édith Piaf and many other notable French citizens are buried.  The cemetery is also just a beautiful place to wander around.  Maybe that sounds morbid or creepy but many of the statues are elegant and worn down in a way that makes them even more beautiful.  The crypts are also very unique.  I think the pictures below say it all.


Jim Morrison’s grave site was a bit underwhelming.  We saw several spray painted tributes on other crypts but the Mossison grave was actually difficult to find.  There were trees near the grave site that had been signed by hundreds of fans who had visited the site.  The grave itself was covered in fresh flowers.  It was one of the most colorful spots in the cemetery because few graves had flowers.  Many look as if they hadn’t been visited in years.

The middle picture above with the iron gate pushed in was a fairly common sad sight, vandals and thieves have destroyed too many of the beautiful crypts.

 

Another popular grave site is the grave of the 19th century French journalist, Victor Nior. There is a superstitious myth about the Nior statue that says that kissing the statue on the lips, rubbing its genitals and placing a flower in the top hat will enhance fertility, bring a blissful sex life, or, in some versions of the myth, a husband within the year.  As a result of the legend, those areas of the bronze statue are oxidized.  You can see the shiny bits in the picture below.

On the way out of the cemetery, the last statue we saw was more more creepy for some reason.  The child just seems to have an odd, almost day dreamy look as if she’s is dreaming of the life she didn’t have and that seemed so sad, which I suppose is fitting.

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One Response to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

  1. Bailey says:

    Many people I know thought me morbid for wanting to travel all the way to Paris to visit a cemetery, but as you said it’s such an interesting and elegant place to spend a day. Luckily I was able to find Morisson’s grave fairly easily using this little guidebook I ordered before my trip called “Meet Me At Pére Lachaise.” While I was there I also found out that this book is sold exclusively in the gift shop at the Mama Shelter hotel in Paris! I found it to be helpful, informative, and full of beautiful (and recent) photos.
    You can check it out on their website here http://www.perelachaisecemetery.com/
    Enjoy!

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