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"Quiet Neighbors" Cimetière du Pere Lachaise - Jim Morrison Grave Tip by Rixie

  Interesting juxtaposition of angel and spikes
by Rixie

We walked from our hotel to Père Lachaise Cimetière and wandered around at random, having forgotten to get a map. In the guidebook that I’d read before leaving home, the cemetery looked manageable, with the graves of celebrities (e.g. Edith Piaf, Chopin, Abelard and Heloïse, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Jim Morrison) clearly marked. That was misleading, because it left out the hundreds of “regular Joe” graves and family crypts that are laid out haphazardly around corners and up hills.

Some gravestones were so old that the engraved words could no longer be read, some dated from the early 1800s,and some were from just last year. The saddest, to me, was a tiny Chinese girl – cute and pigtailed in the photo on her headstone – who died in 2003 at the age of three. The most ornate was a two-story chapel for the dead – stone foundation and white clapboard, with stained glass windows.

We found Jim Morrison’s grave by accident. VTer Guyon had told me it was the only one with security guards, due to the fact that overzealous Doors fans were always trying to chip off pieces of the headstone. Kelly, who is taller and could see over the obelisks, noticed a uniformed guard taking a smoke break, so we followed him and found a group of tourists gathered at the gravesite. It’s tucked away in an obscure corner, but it was covered with fresh flowers. The stone reads "James Douglas Morrison."

I took a photo of the grave and of the other tourists, some of them posing cheerfully in front of the grave. Seemed a little macabre to me, but chacun à son gôute.

Address: Boulevard de Menilmontant
Directions: 11me arrondissement. Metro: Pere Lachaise ou Philippe Auguste
Phone: +33 1 47 03 12 50

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 31, 2004
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