Père Lachaise Cemetery: A Spirited walk in Paris

I was walking around the graveyard feeling a bit too spirited. and by spirited, I indicate tipsy. There I was, exploring what lots of consider the world’s a lot of checked out cemetery, half-drunk. It was four in the afternoon.

I never planned on having a drink on the way here. how it happened is a a long story, but here’s the short of it. having worked all morning and having nothing but a serving of crepe the night before, I finally emerged from my hotel absolutely hungry. No, famished. It was past two, and I was too starved to actually care about where to eat. I could eat the first person that I could get hold of in the streets of Paris, and I wouldn’t mind. With my fingers shaking and tummy grumbling, I swore to dine at the first restaurant I would lay eyes on. A block later, I was standing in front of a pizzeria.

“Bonjour,” greeted the waitress smilingly. (I know, people always say to me that Paris has the grumpiest waiters, but I never encountered any of ’em grumpy ones the whole time I was in town.) She told me that the place was open, but considering that my timing was weird, all that was available was pizza.

“And it might be too much for one person,” she warned.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. אני מוכן.”

היא צחקה. She then asked me if would like some wine. Of course I would love some wine, you kidding me? מה המידה? Now, here’s the thing: This is my first restaurant experience in Paris, and I didn’t know how big the normal serving is. So I just said the medium carafe would do. When she returned with the wine, I was shocked to see that it was enough for three helpings. That’s too much for me, a person whose ego is inversely proportional to his alcohol tolerance. but what could I do? I had my first glass and loved it. I was nearly made with the white wine when the pizza arrived. By the time my meal finished, I was already radiating that notorious Asian glow and sweating as though it was mid-summer.

Crématorium du Pere Lachaise

A metro ride later, I was finally at the Porte Gambetta entrance to Père Lachaise. Why I chose this gate instead of the main entrance was simple. The site isn’t flat. In fact, the cemetery sprawls over a 44-hectare area of a hill in the 20th arrondissement. Gambetta is on higher ground, which indicates I would have to walk downhill to make it across.

With a small map and a shaky posture, I began my way around the gravestones, whose blocks are fringed with towering trees. two things dawned on me as I made my first steps. First, it’s easy to get lost here. Second, it’s easy to forget you’re in a burial site. Sure, there are 70,000 plots and tombstones all around. but lots of of them feature flawless busts and carvings; it’s a lot more like a sculpture garden or an outdoor art museum. lots of funerary art styles can be found here, including ancient mausoleums, modern glass, Haussmanian, and Gothic. There’s also a Neo-Byzantine-style crematorium and columbarium, created by Jean-Camille Formigé in 1894. The cemetery was named after daddy François d’Aix de La Chaise, King Louis XIV’s confessor.

Towering trees flank the main streets of the cemetery
There are a lot more than 70,000 tombs and burial plots in Pere Lachaise
The neo-Byzantine design of Crématorium du Pere Lachaise
The back of the Crematorium.
What makes Père Lachaise so well-known is that it is the final resting place for lots of popular personalities in the worlds of the arts, literature, and politics. significant people include playwright Molière; actors Sarah Bernhardt and Yves Montand; writers Balzac, Proust, and Colette; and painters Pissarro and Delacroix. but I was here for these three: Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, and Jim Morrison.

The easiest to find among the three was Oscar Wilde’s. I didn’t even have to look at the map; I just followed the crowd. Led by sculptor Jacob Epstein, construction of his tomb completed after ten months. It also features a plinth by Charles Holden and an inscription by Joseph Cribb. What makes this tomb interesting is not just the Indian-Egyptian-Assyrian-influenced design. a lot more arresting are the kiss marks surrounding it. Apparently, lots of visitors would kiss the tomb, leaving a mark. A glass barrier was set up around it in 2011. It kind of didn’t stop the kissing tradition.

Oscar Wilde’s Tomb. See all the kiss marks?
After seeing Wilde’s tomb, I went on to find the other two. I chose to walk through the area where a lot of popular people were buried so I could also see them along the way. but there were too lots of of them. I would even stumble upon tombs of figures I didn’t even know lay here. lots of times, I found myself alone, which did not scare me at all.

Honoré de Balzac, a legendary French novelist and playwright.
Visitors taking photos with the severe of Balzac
Casimir Delavigne, a French dramatist and poet.
Tomb of Eugene Delacroix, a French romantic artist often considered the leaderשל בית הספר הרומנטי הצרפתי.
יותר יצירות אמנות הלוויה המעטרות את הקברים
יותר יצירות אמנות הלוויה המעטרות את הקברים
קבר לחיילים בלגים שנפטר בפריס בשנים 1914-1918
בית העלמין של פרה לאצ’ייס
ז’אן בפטיסט דלפך, מהנדס, על פי ההצטיינות
לפני שידעתי את זה, זה כבר היה שש בערב. (בית הקברות נסגר בשש!) בזכות היין, הייתי כל כך מבולבל ומבולבל, התקשיתי לנווט באתר. כמו כן, לא הבנתי שבאותה עת, השמש שקעה הרבה יותר מאוחר בפריס. (הייתי רגיל לאזורים הטרופיים.)

ובכל זאת ניסיתי לפלס את דרכי ברחבי בית הקברות להסתכל על של שופן וג’ים מוריסון, אבל הצוות עצר אותי וביקש שאעשה את דרכי לגמבטה. לא יצא לי לראות אותם.

אני מאשים את היין.

בית העלמין של פרה לאצ’ייס
16 Rue du Repos & bd de ménilmontant, 20e
טלפון: +33 1 43 70 70 33
אתר: www.pere-lachaise.com
שעות פתיחה: שני-שישי 8 בבוקר עד 18:00, שבת 8:30-18:00, ראשון: 9 בבוקר עד 18:00

כיצד להגיע לבית העלמין Père Lachaise: קח את קו המטרו 2 או 3 לתחנת Père Lachaise. הכניסה הראשית היא רק הליכה קצרה מכאן. אבל אם אתה כמוני שמתעייף בקלות, אתה יכול לקחת קו 3B לתחנת גמבטה וללכת לכניסה לגמבטה, שנמצאת על קרקע גבוהה יותר, ומבטיחה שההליכה שלך ברחבי האתר תהיה טיול קל במורד.

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