25 May 2012

Père Lachaise Cemetery

I spent an interesting couple of hours at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.    It's a peaceful, tree-filled place, with almost all of the graves being in good condition.  Some of them are quite elaborate, too.  It was very helpful to have a guidebook, although some of the graves of the well-known could be identified by the walking tour groups assembled nearby!
I wouldn't have found the Piaf grave if not for the group!

 In addition to the graves, there are a number of memorials. These range from the Commune of 1871, to quite a number to the victims of the Resistance and World War 2 through to the victims of various air disasters, including AF 447 which crashed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on 1 June 2009.

Oscar Wilde's tomb is surrounded by a glass screen on which various messages (graffiti?) are scrawled.  Presumably the screen encourages such messages, but it's a pity to think that were it not for the screen, at least some of them may have been on the memorial itself.
 (EDIT:   A good tip from the guidebook was to take the bus to the top (back) entrance.   Not only is this closer to some of the graves and memorials of interest, but the walk from this area to the front gate (and Metro station) is down hill!)

Oscar Wilde's tomb

Memorial to the victims AF 447 - hard to photograph!

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