Père Lachaise Cemetery

Perhaps a visit to the burial ground where so many iconic people are buried would not be as memorable if a steady rain were not falling as I walked the winding paths of Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Designed as the first rural or garden cemetery, laid out with winding paths and forested lanes, the land lies along gently sloping terrain. It is the ideological precursor of famous St. Louis cemeteries such as Bellefontaine or Calvary, but it is far more dense!

And of course, there is Jim Morrison’s grave, which is a continuous burden to his neighbors’ plots. Only recently did his family pay for perpetual care; in Europe, you only get a couple of years or decades and then the cemetery digs you up and sells your plot. But Morrison is here to stay now.

Alain Baschung was an extremely famous French pop star. I had to look him up.

Can someone say oxidation?

The sculpture below is based off the Belvedere Torso.

Below is Frederick Chopin, the Polish-French composer, hence the red and white flag and ribbons of Poland.

This is very much an “alive” and active cemetery with continuous burials. This monument below is based off a Mayan stela.

This family is paid up! Book and page recorded in stone.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for these enchanting photos of these beautiful places.
    There is much to savor in these old cemeteries with classical and exotic architecture and beautiful art. These exercises in vanity are charming in any event.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      They are important windows into the culture of the time when they were built. Cemeteries often give us unvarnished, honest looks at how people viewed themselves and their families!

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