Day 18 (Part 2)

When I reach the metro station Père Lachaise, I find that the #2 blue line goes to here too! Oh well, it will be more direct journey back!

A little about the cemetery. (from Frommer's) it is about 108 acres (43.2 hectares). It was planned as a graveyard for the great and the developer sold the idea to celebrities, encouraging families to adorn their family crypts and tombs with fine stonework. It is was a little bit “the place to be seen after you die”! There are a few rules about who can be buried/interred here: have to born in Paris, or die in Paris, or live in Paris.

There is lots and lots of statuary. The paths are cobbled, with side paths in gravel. I am not sure how many “residents” now reside here, but it seems densely populated!

There are many famous people buried here. Some of the most famous have had to have gates installed around them as they were constantly being defaced.

Jim Morrison is one such grave site. The tree near the tombstone has also been wrapped as it was being carved into constantly.

Oscar Wilde's tomb is encased in plexiglas, which has been written all over, and a gate so you cant even get close to the plexiglas! There are lip prints on the chest of the figure on his tombstone.

 

This is the gravesite of Héloïse and Abélard. They are star struck lovers. He (Pierre Abélard) was an assistant to a church official. He fell in love with his master's niece (Héloïse) and they secretly married. When they were discovered, she was sent to a convent and he was castrated and went to a monestary and later opened a theological school and challenged ecclesiastical authority. They both died in the 12th century, however maintained their romance in letters during their life time. They were reunited here at this cemetery in 1817.

A tragic love story. They had to put up the fence to stop forlorn lovers from draping themselves across the crypt!

 

 

 

 

 

So many !

The Gertrude Stein/Alice B Toklas site is very understated. My picture doesn't do it justice.

There are several moving monuments to the victims of the Holocaust. They are huge and gruesome and capture the horror.

 

 

A pretty place. Some of the family crypts have been damaged. Many of the glass panes on doors are bare and doors are ajar. In some places the trees have done their best to displace the crypts.

Apparently when a mausoleum falls into too much disrepair and is no longer visited, and repairs are not made, the bones are exhumed, placed in labelled boxes and deposited into a general Monument aux Morts. So there are newer burials here as well.

 

 

This place was famous for the number of cats roaming around. I saw only two cats at the Colombarium. A small black one who chatted with me for a few moments.

It was a beautiful fall day, and a lovely stroll. At night this place would be so creepy!!

 

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