...Try going to Pere Lachaise on a pretty day!
Pere Lachaise is this great cemetary in Paris where all the famous people have been laid to rest. People like Jim Morrison of The Doors, Collette and Moliere. Moliere's remains, by the way, were transferred to the cemetary in a marketing campaign to get more, um, visitors, make that "residents".
In 1804, the five year old daughter of a bellboy was the first to be buried there. Napoleon Bonaparte, then a consul, declared that “Every citizen has the right to be buried regardless of race or religion”. Too bad everybody else in Paris didn't see it that way and thus the scheme to bury (or rebury as it were) some of the city's more prominant dead people.
And oh! Is it peaceful and gothic and dramatic.
Here's Colette. She's pretty much at the entrance of the cemetary. Before you get to the lovely coblestones.
She was the author of Gigi and had quite an appetite for living. She was married several times, had affairs with men and women and even a stepson once. Colette loved her life.
There were all sorts of interesting tombs. It was like a New Orleans cemetary, only cooler. If that's possible.
Like this. I wonder what the story is here...
Even the smallest detail is considered on the monuments. Like stained glass and these glazed pansy wreaths. Pansies are the flowers of remembrance.
They can be lost in the grandness of it all.
The scope of the place is hard to translate in pixels.
Jim Morrison's grave. They have it partitioned off because the graves surrounding it were being damaged from the tourists. Thus the blurry picture, having to hold the camera above the heads of the people in front of us.
Many monuments are inhabited by shrouded figures of grief. So well crafted you would swear the fabric is moving in the breeze.
I loved the way some were blanketed in a thick rug of moss.
The monument of Chopin.
Interesting things were at every turn.
I did feel sorry for this poor bastard. His was rather plain by comparison.
It was worth the preciptous climb on the cobblestones.
To see the final resting places of people who left a mark on the world.
I thought this was sweet.
Everywhere people stood guard the crypts.
And some of them had dogs!
Oscar Wilde brought a giant flying Indian to watch over his resting place.
On sensory overload, we slipped out the back gate onto the street and headed for a brasserie by Pere Lachaise.
And rendez- vous'd with our amis.
Since I had the whole egg thing going on, I chose my old friend Croque Madame. Hud chose his old buddy, Croque Monsieur.
We also invited a couple of dark beers to join us.
Fortified, we hopped up the block and back into the cemetary.
For my friend, Charotte, whose house was built by Francois Cousin. A relative perhaps? The family crypt? He built her home in the late 1700s and would have been alive at the time.
It was a gorgeous day.
This may as well have been the most elegant bas relief in the whole of Pere Lachaise.
But the morning was gone and we had another place to go before heading back to the Tour Eiffel and the Etoile Troccadero. Adieu, people of Pere Lachaise! Thanks for allowing us to spend our morning with you!