Père Lachaise : lingering in the past
Many visitors to Paris, hold a special place in their heart for those artists that helped make Paris the epicenter of culture that it is today. The writers musicians, dancers and thespians, even politicians have all contributed to the concept that many visitors are now nostalgic for. Those visitors often find themselves meandering the pathways of the Père lachaise cemetaryto “visit” or pay their respects to those artists who have passed, who came through Paris, made her a better place.
The website for the cemetary has a wonderful system (in French or English) that helps you map out the different tombstones, and gives you information on the personalities buried there (not every one of course, just the famous ones).
You can also see the tombstones fo Isadore Duncan, a faous dancer from California who brought modern dance to Paris; Jean de la Fontaine and Molière friends, philosophers in their own right and playwrights have their tombstones nex to eachother; Eugène Delacroix, the artist who is most known for his romantic styled large format paintings, his most famous one perhaps being “La Liberté guidant le peuple” which you can see at the Louvre museum; René Lalique, master of glass and jewelry work in the art nouveau style; Gertrude Stein the famous writer, philosopher and art collector who lived in Paris during the first two decar=des of the 20th century and spent her time patronning artists and writers; Marcel Proust, the author of “À la recherche du temps perdu”… and so many others.
I advise you to wear VERY comfortable shoes while visiting because the cobblestones are not very flat, and to give yourself plenty of time as it is easiy to get a little lost inside the cemetary when looking for specific tombs. About 2 hours is reasonable in order to find and visit about 10 grave stones.
And remember, although it is a hot spot for tourists, Père Lachaise is a cemetary, and people still hold ceremonies there, so remember to be respectful of others and the grounds.
Metro Père Lachaise, lines 2 or 3. There is a small entrance at the corner edge of the cemetary right next to the exit of the metro station. This will save you from walking all the way to the main entrance.
ANIMALS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE CEMETARY (sorry gotta leave the puppy at home)
From the 6th of November to the 15th of March :
Mon-Fri: 8h – 17h30 (5:30pm)
Saturday: 8h30 – 17h30(5:30pm)
Sundays and holidays: 9h – 17h30(5:30pm)
From the 16th of March to the 5th of November:
Mon-Fri: 8h – 18h00(6:00pm)
Saturday: 8h30 – 18h00(6:00pm)
Dimanche et jours fériés
Sundays and holidays: 9h – 18h00(6:00pm)
I remember the first time I went to Paris my granny took me to this cementery to see Edith Piaf’s tablet. I think we walked for a whole hour. It’s an interesting and beautiful place. I’d highly recommend it for those who go to Paris.
Wish I had read your post before I got around to visiting, think I will have to go back to have another look!
Managed to get some nice pictures though – hope you don’t mind me sharing them with you: http://langlaisaparis.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/another-site-crossed-off-the-list-pere-lachaise/
Not at all Richard!