When, the group that I was with in Paris, suggested that we visit a Cemetery, I thought that they had lost their minds! I was in Paris, to have fun, not look at a bunch of Tombstones.
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They were all excited, because Pere Lachaise, as the locals call it, is the burial place of Jim Morrison, from the Rock band, The Doors. I really could have cared less. But when I heard that the Famous Ballerina Isadora Duncan, also calls her resting place there, I decided to give in, and pay it a visit.
I am so glad that I did. I may never get the chance to go there again, and I would have kicked myself if, I had missed it.
I never thought that a cemetery, smack in the middle of Paris would be a tourist attraction, but I hear that, it is one of the most visited places in the city.
When you first arrive, you can purchase a map from several of the ladies that sell flowers in front of the cemetery, I have no idea what I paid for it. I really did not fully understand the currency. A lot of other were buying them, so I just followed along. The map points out some of the more famous inhabitants of the cemetery. It seems like it is prestigious to be buried here.Some of the graves are over 200 years old.
Some of the famous people that are buried here are: Jim Morrison, Isadora Duncan, Oscar Wilde, The Musician Chopin, and The Artist Moliere. There are many famous French Poets and Composers.
There are very detailed Marble and Brass statues adorning some of the graves. They are made to resemble Angels. One of them was even made to look the person that was buried in the grave.
When we arrived at the grave of Jim Morrison, I was a bit shocked to see a guard standing there. It seems that some visitors vandalized the grave, in the past, People that visited have left beer cans, pictures, poems, and cigarettes by his grave. People were even taking pictures. It was a little weird.
I was sad to see that people wrote on the tombstones and monuments of other people. Jim Lives, Jim Rules or Jim, Rest in Peace was scrawled on the graves of others that were buried in the area.
In one area, of the cemetary, a war was fought. The men that died in the battle were buried, in the same place that they died, all in one mass grave.
A day at Pere Lachchaise, is to intense for the kids, they will be bored in a matter of hours. It does take a few hours to see everything.
A day of touring cemeteries may seem a little morbid, but I am glad that I went, I got a history lesson, and I had a great time soaking up some Parisian culture.
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