Founded in 1804 in the countryside beyond the Paris city walls, the Cimetiére Pére-Lachaise is now Paris’ largest cemetery. Verdant, hilly, with meandering paths between thousands of sepulchral tombs and monuments this vast city of the dead is one of Paris’ top ten tourist attractions. Pére-Lachaise is best known to most foreign visitors as the final resting place of Jim Morrison, but ask a Parisian and they’re more likely to direct you to the evocative memorials for Marcel Proust, Edith Piaf, Honoré Balzac or Guillaume Apollinaire. Bibliophile visitors search out the graves of Gertrude Stein, Colette, Richard Wright and Oscar Wilde.
The fascination with Pére-Lachaise and its illustrious occupants has inspired writers and artists for two centuries. Now animators Antoine Colomb and Guillaume Rio have created the Tim Burton-esque short animated film, The Ghosts of Pére-Lachaise, celebrating another of the renowned residents, Chopin.
- Walk Jim Morrison’s Paris with Michelle Campbell (jimmorrisonsparis.com)
- The Dark Side of Paris (bespoketraveler.wordpress.com)
- Le Musée d’Edith Piaf: a little-known Paris museum (guardian.co.uk)
- New photos from Père Lachaise by fans around the world (jimmorrisonsparis.com)