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At the end of the day, we made it.
We travel a lot between Paris and Stockholm and for some inscrutable reason had we never visited the famous cemetery Pere-Lachaise in Paris. If you aren’t familiar with Pere-Lachaise, it’s the cemetery where among others; Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf are buried. One day, early autumn we decided that now is the day to finally make the move and visit the old masters.
We went with the Metro to a station that had the same name as the cemetery; Pere-Lachaise. The cemetery is huge and there are several Metro stations and metro lines around it as well as different entrances. We found out that many tourists goes to Metro Gambetta because it’s close to Oscar Wilde´s tomb, which is a good start for the visit.
We decided to spend a few hours in the cemetery and prepared our self with a list with what we thought was enough to fill our visit, but oh what we deceived our self
If you take part in a guided tour, then it’s not a problem to find the way, but of course then you need to follow their set route. If you try to find your own way with a map you need to allocate a lot of time because it isn’t that easy to find all tombs. Some of them are very old and even the signs are not up anymore.
The map will take you there.. or?
After a while we tried to use Google map as a help to find our way, but not all tombs where to be found anyway, bummer. That’s why I decided to prepare a guide for smart phones with the most visited tombs, at least in our opinion. If you miss anyone on the map above, please feel free to comment below and I will add it as soon as possible.
We got time to see Jim Morrison, which isn’t that hard to find. It´s nearly always visitors at his tomb and you should not be surprised if the visitors have some party with Jim. Some people are sharing a joint with Jim and others have brought their guitar and are playing some songs. At our visit there where two Canadian girls cheering over a beer.
It’s not only Jim that makes people toasting over their tombs. We saw a couple that shared a glass of white wine with Edit Piaf as well. Dressed in contemporary clothes they even splashed some wine on her tomb.
In the beginning they had the problem to get people to choose Pere-Lachaise as a cemetery, but after the administrators decided to move Jean de Le Fontaine and Molière to Pere-Lachaise, suddenly Pere-Lachaise was the first choice for many. As of today there are over one million buried in the cemetery and even more to be find in the columbarium.
Even if the cemetery is not far from the centre of Paris, it’s a really calm and relaxing place to visit. So do not stress it in any way, give the visit the time it deserves and you will leave the cemetery more peaceful than you haven’t been for a while, even if you are on holiday.
Have you ever been to Pere-Lachaise? Any known painter, artist, musician or actor that we missed according to you? Please comment below.