Père Lachaise

The Cimetière du Père-Lachaise is the largest cemetery inside the city of Paris. It is in the east of the city, in the 20th arrondissement and is situated between the Boulevard de Ménilmontant, the Avenue Gambetta and the Boulevard de Charonne.

The cemetery was founded under Napoleon in 1804 and, at that time, was outside the city boundary.

It became a popular place for Parisians to be buried after the remains of Molière, La Fontaine and Abelard and Héloise were transferred there and re-interred.

There are many famous French people buried in the cemetery, as well as people from other countries, perhaps most notably Jim Morrison, the late singer with The Doors.

Père Lachaise is a popular place with tourists and you can buy maps of the site at the entrances and visit the graves of the many generals, politicians, artists, musicians, composers, authors and other notables who are among the more than 300,000 people buried in the cemetery.

Here are a few of the notable graves;

François Christophe Kellermann, later 1st Duc de Valmy, was a Marshal of France and one of Revolutionary France’s celebrated generals. He was the victor of The Battle of Valmy in 1792, which saved the infant Republic and showed that the Revolutionary Army could stand against the might of Prussia and Austria.

Kellerman tomb

Jim Morrison's grave

Colette's grave

Ettore Bugatti's grave

Rossini's grave

Edith Piaf's grave

There are also memorials to those victims of the Nazis who were deported to death camps during the Second World War and, a site of special importance to the French Left, the Mur des Fédérés or Communard’s Wall which is the place where 147 Communards, defenders of the district of Belleville in 1871, were shot when the Paris Commune was suppressed by the provisional government of Adolphe Thiers after the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.

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2 thoughts on “Père Lachaise

  1. Oscar Wilde is in there too isn’t he? One day I shall do my tour of European graveyards which will include this one and the Protestant one in Rome, I know it’s very gothic of me, but I find them such peaceful places.

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