Worth a Visit: Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
You may be wondering why i consider a cemetery a place worth visiting in Paris, besides the fact that in Paris everything is so beautiful that every piece of cemented ( and not) ground is worth a visit, and here is my two parts answer to you all. First and foremost Pere Lachaise holds some stunning examples of architecture and to the cost of sounding morbid people is always dying, therefore they are always in need of a grave and at Pere Lachaise you can admire shapes and styles of architecture influenced by the époque in which the person whose grave you are admiring died. You can truly see and appreciate the costumes for the dead of hundreds of years ago and even spot some seriously remarkable graves. As for any cemetery, you will find small and big, great and modest, fully taken care of and completely left to the little mercy of time and abandonment kind of graves. Secondly I must admit that i am really sentimental about places like this one, places which have the power to belittle our struggles and daily life problems to the vastly impending death sentence holding on our heads and the fact that opposite to this sadness you may feel in a place of death such as a cemetery you can find the encouragement and inspiration to never waste a day in your life and appreciate the people in your life. It is to be expected to notice that a very old grave has no flowers or signs of loved one's passage because even your dearest must rejoin with the Creator at some point in their lives ( or to connect with whatever your belief suggests you to); but to witness the abandonment of graves of people dead not too long ago really puts things in perspective, at least for me. I know i don’t want to be buried in a cemetery but if i did, and when my time comes, i would love to hold the certainty that i have lived a life full of love and unforgettable friends and loved ones who will remember me and love my memory, not necessarily and not only in the form of flowers and grave’s visiting. Seeing The Pere Lachaise was a very grounding experience which has left with a reinvigorated desire to love better, to love more my loved ones and to lead a life i can be proud of and saying that i have lived a freaking awesome roller coaster of emotions and experiences.
Stream of consciousness over, i promise, Now it is time for some facts about the Pere Lachaise, because i am a History obsessed i need to share the knowledge. It is widely know as the City of the Dead and it is situated in the northeast of Paris, in the XX Arrondissement and you can easily arrive here using the subway, or Metro as they say, on the blue and green lines, the second and the third subway lines. The cemetery opened in 1804 after the enlightened decision of Napoleon to forbid burning corpses near the houses for hygenical reasons and in order for this cemetery to become a possible choice for burial for the loved one of the deceased ( because there were already three other Cemeteries far closer to the centre of the City) the administration decided to move the remaining of many famous personalities to bring prestige to the location. In fact in here you can see the graves of people of the likes of Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Frédéric Chopin and Gioachino Rossini, Honoré de Balzac and Alexandre Dumas Jr ( the writer of The Lady of the Camellias, he’s the son of the most famous Alexandre Dumas, writer of The Three Musketeers) Amedeo Modigliani and even Jim Morrison.
And of course a special mention goes to the oldest inhabitants: the lovers Abelard and Heloise!