There is nothing as magical as a peaceful stroll in Père-Lachaise on a sunny afternoon. If you think that spending time in a cemetery is macabre, you might change your mind after your visit of Paris’ largest and most famous cemetery. Open in 1804, it’s one of the first graveyard in the world to become a place for the living as well, a place of meditation, where families can come and pay respect to their dead. If you are interested in nineteenth century sculpture and architecture, you will soon realize that Père-Lachaise is like an open-air museum, where famous artists, like Auguste Préault, Auguste Clésinger or Jules Dalou displayed some of their best works.

Of course the other main interest of the cemetery is the huge amount of famous people’s graves you can find. The three most visited are certainly the one of Jim Morrison (the leader of the Doors died when he was in Paris), Oscar Wilde, with its famous sculpture once covered with kisses traces and Frédéric Chopin. One of my favorite is the one of Allan Kardec, a mysterious character who died in 1869, known as a medium and one of the father of spiritism. Today, his grave, which looks like a dolmen, is still visited by many of his followers and always flowered. Another magical and well famous place is the tomb of Victor Noir, a young journalist murdered in a duel in 1870 by Pierre Bonaparte. To mark his grave, a life size bronze sculpture was realized and the legend is that, by rubbing the statue’s genitals, women can enhance their fertility. As a result, you will see that this part of the artwork is now all shiny and golden! If you are a French music lover, don’t miss the tombs of Edith Piaf, Mano Solo or Alain Bashung. You can buy maps in the street in front of the graveyard or get a little one for free at the entrance.

 

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