Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris

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  • Cimetière du Père Lachaise
    by Maryimelda
  • Cimetière du Père Lachaise
    by Maryimelda
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    Edith Piaf
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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Pere Lachaise

    by Dabs Updated Mar 9, 2014

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    Jim Morrison
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    Most visitors to Pere Lachaise are in search of it's most famous residents, an American singer and an Irish writer. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, died in Paris and is buried there. On my first visit to Pere Lachaise, many years ago, a rather bored security guard sat watch over the site, his devoted fans having stolen his bust and vandalizing nearby graves with graffiti. On my last visit in June 2013, the bored guard was gone and the grave stone unremarkable except for the many flowers and gifts strewn on the ground. Oscar Wilde, the Irish author, also died in Paris. His monument is much more stylish, an art deco tribute. It used to be covered in thousands of kisses, in all shades of lipstick, but is now tragically covered in plexiglass.

    If you've gone all the way to Pere Lachaise to see the Lizard King and find the gravesite a bit of a disappointment, you might seek out one of it's other residents. Polish composer Frederick Chopin is buried here, all of him except his heart which resides in Poland. Abelard & Heloise, the star crossed lovers, have a rather grand tomb.

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    Pere Lachaise Cemetery

    by Gyppo Written Mar 3, 2014

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    In this cemetery are the graves of the great and good of France, along with some other notable people, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. There's also a moving memorial to the dead of the Air France crash off Brazil in 2009.

    Slightly more light-hearted, if that's possible in a cemetery, is the tomb of Victor Noir. His resting place is famous for the life-size replica of his body, complete with impressive trouser bulge; the local legend is that rubbing his groin gives fertility to women, and the shininess of that area suggests several have tried it.

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    Père Lachaise - Funerary Styles.

    by breughel Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    P��re Lachaise - Typical avenue.
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    This cemetery of 44 hectares surprised me by its aspect of an "English garden" with uneven alleys, ways and paths intermingling in an inextricable labyrinth.
    Nothing is to be found at the Père Lachaise of the usual geometrical layout of most cemeteries of our regions.

    The vegetation, more than 5.000 tall trees of all species, dominates everything, even the highest monuments. The hilliness of the cemetery, the roots of the trees destabilized many monuments which lean towards their neighbours. The Père Lachaise is known as the largest garden of Paris, but it is an almost wild garden. The cobblestones of the alleys do not facilitate walking. Put on good shoes.

    There are approximately 70.000 monuments of all styles: antique, gothic, haussmannien or simple tomb stones. From these more than 200 belong to celebrities.
    The shape of funeral monuments mostly met is that of a “little house” serving for all the family (photo 1) what explains why there are approximately 300.000 bodies buried here.
    The accumulation of the tombs is considerable, it is necessary to slip between the tombs to reach those of the second or third lines. Here and there emerge a large monument (photo 2). In the high part (div.87) is the neo Byzantine style crematorium whose black chimneys at the top are impressive (photo 3).

    Open: 6/11 - 15/03
    Monday - Friday 8 - 17.30 h; Saturday 8.30 -17.30 h; Sunday and Feast days 9 - 17.30h (open on most feast days).
    16/03 - 5/11 same till 18 h.
    Free.

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    Père Lachaise - Concentration camp memorials.

    by breughel Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    P��re Lachaise - Auschwitz victims memorial.
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    In division 97, on the North-East corner of the cemetery, stand a number of monuments to the victims "déportés" of the concentration and extermination camps.

    Various concentration camps have their specific monument like Ravensbruck, Flossenbürg, Mauthausen (a monument in the form of the terrible stairs leading to the quarry), Dachau, Buchenwald, Neuengamme, Natzweiler-Struthof, Buna, Monowitz & Auschwitz III.
    On this memorial is written "N'OUBLIONS JAMAIS!" (Never forget).

    Among these monuments to the victims of Nazism and heroes of the Résistance are the tombs of a number of leaders from the Parti Communiste Français. Somewhat surprising from an historical point of view as the PCF joined the Resistance only in June 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union!

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    Père Lachaise - Sense of humour.

    by breughel Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    P��re Lachaise - ENFIN SEUL! ALONE AT LAST!

    Amazing sense of humour of the sculptor and painter Arman who wrote as an epitaph on his tomb:
    ENFIN SEUL! ALONE AT LAST!
    Arman got married twice and had six children. Maybe that explains the "Enfin seul!"

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    Pierre La Chaise Cemetary

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    Cemetary

    This is an above ground cemetary in the style found in other French influenced areas such as New Orleans. It's the resting place of Chopin and Jim Morrison among others famous Parisians. Even without the famous graves this is a very beautiful cemetary worth wondering through.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Favourites at Pere Lachaise

    by Maryimelda Updated Dec 2, 2013

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    Edith Piaf
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    I made myself a promise when I set off to see Pere Lachaise and that was that even if I saw nothing else, I would not leave the cemetery without visiting the finally resting places of Edith Piaf and Frederic Chopin. I kept my promise and was so glad that I did.

    I bought a map of the cemetery at the florist shop situated just across the road from the Gambetta entrance and thought that this was going to be easy. Wrong!!! The graves are packed in like sardines in a can and the map really only gives an approximate location of each of the memorable graves although the streets and lanes are very well marked.

    When I looked at the map I thought that the resting place of Piaf would be easy to find as it was on the edge of a section right on the little road. Well I got that wrong and nearly missed it. If there hadn't been a film crew pull up and take some film of the site when I was in the vicinity I would never have found it. Piaf is interred in the second row back from the road and her grave requires a little bit of mountain goating to reach. I probably exaggerate because I do have bad knees and it was a challenge for me to climb in there but for the limber of limb of course, it would not be difficult at all.

    Chopin was much more accessible once I found the actual lane in which he was buried. It's a magnificent memorial to the great man and very well cared for. I took about a million pics because I just couldn't believe that I was in the presence of my very favourite composer of all time.

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    Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise

    by Maryimelda Updated Dec 1, 2013

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    Pere Lachaise
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    So where does one begin to write a review on this amazing Parisian cemetery? I think I can safely skip the history lesson because to my mind, Pere Lachaise is more about the people interred there, many of whom led extremely distinguished and very notable lives.

    I finally had the opportunity to visit this famous resting place in October 2013 when I escaped from my family by sending them off to Disneyland Paris for the day and I high tailed it to the 20eme to fulfil a dream I have hankered after for many years. I certainly was not disappointed.

    I spent four wonderful hours rambling through the little streets and lanes, stopping from time to time to sit on a bench and stare at the amazing surroundings. The cemetery is way more than its famous occupants. It is first and foremost one of the most peaceful havens I have ever had the pleasure to visit. It was a cool and cloudy day as well and this added to the wonderful ambience there.

    This is the resting place of such famous people as Edith Piaf, Chopin, Proust, Oscar Wilde, Sara Bernhard, Jim Morrison, Colette just to name a few. There are also some very touching memorials to some otherwise forgotten heroes such as the Commune members who were executed here and buried where they fell in May 1871 and the members of the French Resistance who fell victim to the German forces in WWII.

    There is also a plethora of family mausoleums and tombs some of which are in a sad state of disrepair and some of which have been lovingly tended for many decades. The statuary in Pere Lachaise is magnificent in many places.

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    And last but not least....

    by Maryimelda Written Dec 1, 2013

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    Inside the columbarium
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    I must make mention of the crematorium and columbarium at Pere Lachaise. These were built in Neo Byzantine style towards the end of the 19th century and are quite impressive.

    The columbarium is well worth a closer look. If you have the time to wander through it at your leisure you will find the ashes of many famous people resting in the walls. Isadora Duncan was one who caught my eye as I was a teenager/young adult at the time when the movie was made and of course the first thing I thought of when I viewed her name plaque was that long scarf flying in the breeze. It was her trademark but also the cause of her death if I remember correctly.

    If you enter the cemetery at the Gambetta gate you will almost walk straight into the columbarium. Turn to your left and about fifty meters on you will see the crematorium. And if you are interested, check your map right about here because Oscar Wilde is not far away.

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    The statues.....

    by Maryimelda Written Dec 1, 2013

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    4 more images

    Put simply, I have found it very difficult to cover Pere Lachaise in one review. There is so much to see and take in, so please forgive me for spreading this out but it has been such an important highlight of all of my European travels over the past decade+ that I need to do it properly if only for my own gratification.

    The statues in Pere Lachaise are amazing. It is difficult to trim them down to just five pics but I will certainly try and choose the best of the those that I saw. The names are not well known but the figures are beautiful.

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    Eerily beautiful

    by thegirlfromnewy Written Oct 27, 2013

    We visitied on all hallows eve (Halloween) just to add the drama but i was surprised at just how beautiful and well preserved the Cimetiére was. There were families having picnics in there as if it were any park in any other city. I could spend all day in Pere Lachaise taking in the history of it all

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    Père Lachaise - Singers and Actors.

    by breughel Updated Sep 10, 2013

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    P��re Lachaise - Tomb of Edith Piaf.
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    Two of the most popular French singers of the second half of the 20th century are buried in this cemetery and continue to receive the visit of their admirers.
    The tomb of Edith Piaf can be found at division 97. She had a very beautiful voice full with passion combined with beautiful texts and melodies. It is beside the tomb of Edith Piaf that we saw the only cat of the cemetery. It is true that the cats like harmonious sounds.
    The other successful singer/composer is Gilbert Bécaud (div.45) called “Mister 100.000 volts”.

    We have on our walk met the tombs of the singer Henri Salvador, the actor and very good singer Yves Montand (div.44) known in the USA for his affair with Marilyn Monroe, and the tomb of the tragic actress Sarah Bernhardt. But the latter was well from before my generation!

    =======================

    Deux des chanteurs français les populaires de la seconde moitié du 20e siècle sont enterrés au Père Lachaise et reçoivent encore journellement la visite de leurs admirateurs. Il y a celle que je considère comme la meilleur chanteuse francophone Edith Piaf (div.97. Une très belle voix pleine de passion, de très beaux textes et mélodies. C'était le paradis bien avant l'enfer du Rap. C'est à côté de la tombe d' Edith Piaf que nous avons vu le seul chat du cimetière. Il est vrai que les chats aiment les sons harmonieux.
    L'autre chanteur/compositeur à succès est Gilbert Bécaud surnommé "Monsieur 100.000 volts". Sa tombe se trouve dans la division 45.
    Nous avons au hasard du chemin rencontrés les tombes du chanteur et comique Henri Salvador, l'acteur et très bon chanteur Yves Montand (div.44) connu aux USA pour sa brève liaison avec Marilyn Monroe, et dans la même division la célèbre tragédienne Sarah Bernhardt. Mais cette dernière est d'avant ma génération!

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    Pere Lachaise cemetery

    by shavy Updated Aug 30, 2013

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    Pere Lachaise cemetery
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    Just outside the city centre is the famous cemetery in Paris, it's really huge.... a map is necessary if you only looking for one certain grave, I'm not familiar to some famous people who is buried here, I only know one famous singer from the group-The Doors an American band from the years 1965 to 1973 one of the singer Jim Morrison died in July 3,1971 and buried here in Père-Lachaise Cemetery

    Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris is probably one of the greatest collections of (dead) human talent in the world

    Père Lachaise is claimed to be the most visited graveyard in the world and with so many famous people interred there it may well be true
    Posted at the entrances are maps pointing visitors towards the most famous graves, but on every path there are monuments which make you stop and stare
    It might seem a bit of a macabre way to spend an afternoon, but because there are so many famous tombs, and such artistry in the graves, it becomes something like a visit to a museum

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    Walking through graves?!

    by mindcrime Updated Aug 19, 2013

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    Ssshhh! Quiet please!
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    Maybe it sounds strange to visit a graveyard but this is Cimetiere du Père Lachaise, world’s most visited cemetery!

    From another point of view you can see it as a big peaceful park that you can walk away from the noise of the city. I was expecting to see many people there but hopefully in mid October was pretty empty.

    So, what you can do here? First of all you will have the chance see the last stop of famous persons from France and beyond, like Molière, Chopin, Edith Piaf, La Fontaine, Jim Morisson, Allan Kardec, Héloïse and Abélard, Chappe, Victor Noir, Oscar Wilde, Berlioz, Modigliani, Proust etc...

    What's more there are some beautiful statues, odd graves (from a total of 69,000 tombs), plenty for benches for breaks and numerous nice passages through hills to walk through on your way to celebrity hunting.. .

    You can get a free map at the gate of the cemetery...

    The entrance is free.

    The entrance is free.

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    Père Lachaise -Tell me what tomb you visited …

    by breughel Updated Aug 13, 2013

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    Tomb of Chopin
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    A saying in French goes as follows: "dis moi qui tu hantes, je te dirai qui tu es"
    (Tell me whom you spend time with and I will tell you who you are).

    It could be applied to the Père Lachaise cemetery under the form of: "Tell me what tomb you visited and I will tell you who you are".
    Did you visit the tomb of Jim Morrison or the one of Frédéric Chopin? No need to explain the contrast between the two styles of music. We visited both as our son wanted a photo of Morrison's (rather untidy) tomb (division 6). The Chopin's tomb (division 11) is the most decorated with flowers we saw at Père Lachaise showing that "la beauté est éternelle".

    Did you visit the tomb of Oscar Wilde or those of Molière, La Fontaine, Balzac, Proust or with other words are you an Anglophone or a Francophone? Actually we met an Anglophone desperately in search of Balzac (div.48).

    The search for the tombs of celebrities becomes a recreational part of the visit to this cemetery. But the layout of the cemetery is erratic, if not chaotic. Every square inch is occupied by some tomb, often in a bad state when not hauling over under the pressure of roots from the trees.
    Best is to buy a map at the entrance, the one you can load on the web is not precise enough.

    Open: 6/11 - 15/03
    Monday - Friday 8 - 17.30 h; Saturday 8.30 -17.30 h; Sunday and Feast days 9 - 17.30h (open on most feast days).
    16/03 - 5/11 same till 18 h.
    Free.

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