"Père Lachaise - Enfin seul! Alone at last!" Top 5 Page for this destination Père Lachaise Cemetery Tip by breughel
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris: 8 reviews and 25 photos
Favorite thing: I like two types of cemeteries quite different from each other: the British war cemeteries (ref. my tips on Ypres (Belgium) and Etaples (North of France) with their beautiful layout of all the same tombs of young men who should have lived three times as long as they did and the Père Lachaise cemetery with all the different tombs of people who lived a normal life that ended by illness, sometimes an accident or just age.
What surprised me at the Père Lachaise is the complete absence of geometrical layout as found in most cemeteries of our regions. 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.
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.
There are approximately 70.000 monuments of all styles: antique, gothic, haussmannien or simple tomb stones.
The shape of funeral monuments mostly met is that of a “little house” serving for all the family what explains why there are approximately 300.000 bodies buried here.
From these more than 200 belong to celebrities and here starts the recreational aspect of visiting the cemetery in search of the famous tombs. Here I can say "Tell me what tomb you visited and I will tell you who you are": Jim Morrison or Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde or Molière, La Fontaine, Balzac, Proust?
My favored tomb is that of the sculptor and painter Arman who wrote as an epitaph on his tomb:
ENFIN SEUL! ALONE AT LAST!
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