Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery

Chopin's grave
The Cimetière du Père Lachaise located on a hill overlooking Paris is visited more than any other cemetery in the world. 

The reason for this is twofold. This cemetery is the final resting place for a large number of famous creative, talented people plus the cemetery has some of the most spectacular, beautiful, macabre and sad gravestones, tombs, sculptures and mausoleums of any found in the world.

Burials in this Paris suburb began in 1804 and today 200 years later the Père Lachaise has over 1 million graves. The cemetery still accepts new burials but it has a long waiting list. The reason for this is limited space so graves are “leased” for 10, 20, 30 years, etc. When the family stops paying the remains are removed to a different cemetery so space can be reused.

Here are just a few of the famous permanent residents buried at Père Lachaise:

Harriet Toby an American
a ballerina who was killed at
age  23 in a plane crash
in 1952.
Balzac--writer, Karel Appel--painter, Isadora Duncan--dancer, Rosalie Duthè--courtesan, Sarah Bernhardt--actress, Frederic Chopin--composer, Molière--playwright, Jean de la Fontaine--poet/fable writer.

Marcel Marceau--mime, Jim Morrison--singer, Marcel Proust--writer, Gioachino Rossini--composer, Oscar Wilde--writer, Georges Bizet--composer/conductor, Georges Rodenbach--poet, Edith Piaf--singer, Gertrude Stein--writer, Eugene Delacroix--painter.

Oscar Wilde's tomb is normally
covered in bright red lipstick
kisses left by admiring women.
People who have visited Père Lachaise often mention the ghosts they have encountered along its shaded cobblestone paths.

One story mentions Marcel Proust and Maurice Ravel. They were a loving couple in life -- it is said they rise at night from their graves and go in search of each other.

Adolphe Thiers who was the prime minister under King Louis-Phillippe in the 19th century is said to “tug” on visitors clothes if they venture too close to his resting place.

His grave is the most

The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison is often seen roaming near his grave. 

His grave was almost the victim of the cemeteries “lease” policy when families that have deceased loved ones near his resting place gathered together when the Morrison 10 year lease was up and tried to have him moved--they did not succeed. 

The bust which was placed on the 10th anniversary by a fan was later stolen. The family pays to have the graffiti cleaned off. 

Recent photo of his grave.
There are also many other stories of visitors seeing spectral lights, translucent figures, and other disembodied spirits roaming throughout the cemetery.

The following is a 5-minute montage of pictures of the various incredible grave markers at Père Lachaise.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

I would love to visit this historical and lovely cemetery. Thanks for sharing. 😎