Back in October, my French teacher suggested that I visit Cimetière Père Lachaise, and I was not disappointed! It is the largest cemetery within the city of Paris, and can be found in the 20th arrondissement.
You can find the tombs and graves of many prominent figures here, including Oscar Wilde, Chopin, and Edith Piaf among others. I must have spent about 3 hours wandering through both trying to find the graves of the names I recognised, and taking photos of the unknown and forgotten.
I felt like I had jumped right into the Addams Family gardens. A mixture of Gothic mini-chapels, mausoleums, and eroding angels made for a rather haunting but beautiful sight.
The whole cemetery takes up 110 acres, or just under half a square kilometre, but that’s more than enough to get lost in! The winding paths all have their own names which does make it easier to find yourself again.
My favourite part by far was finding so many great sculptures on the tombs, next to the tombs, around the tombs… You get the picture. The time and effort (and money I suppose) that was spent on each and everyone of these doesn’t bear thinking about.
The crows and ravens come out to give it an extra creepy vibe:
Same goes for the wilting and dried-up flowers:
Père Lachaise is still a working cemetery, but there are conditions to meet if you want to be interred there. Even then, you can still see many international graves featuring obituaries and inscriptions in Russian or Chinese, for example.
If you’re ever in Paris, and have a few hours to spare, I really recommend taking a walk around Père Lachaise. Even with over visitor numbers of over 3 million per year, it still retains its peaceful yet eerie vibes.
Find out more about the cemetery on parisinfo.com