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Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

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Situated on the eastern edge of the city, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise (Father Lachaise Cemetery) is the most famous cemetery in Paris and arguably all of Europe. Many notable French and foreign personages are buried here, and the tree-lined paths weaving around 19th-century monuments make Père-Lachaise a favorate spot for a peaceful stroll.

History

Père-Lachaise cemetery is named after the Jesuit Father Lachaise, King Louis XIV's confessor, who led the reconstruction of the Jesuit Rest House completed here in 1682. The Père-Lachaise land, covering more than 109 acres, was acquired by the city of Paris in 1804 for use as a cemetery.

What to See

The rising ground, cobbled avenues and rows of trees give the place a romantic atmosphere in spite of the more 70,000 nineteenth-century funeral monuments that occupy 118 acres in the 20th arrondissement. Some tombs are ostentatious, some are unsightly and dilapidated, some are lovely. Stray cats roam and snooze among the monuments.

More than 300,000 people are buried at "the grandest address in Paris," including many famous artists and writers:

Monuments also honor Frenchmen who died in the Resistance or in Nazi concentration camps. In the southeast corner stands the Mur des Fédérés where the last communards were shot in 1871.

The most famous religious figures buried in Père-Lachaise are the unlucky lovers Héloïse and Abélard. Peter Abélard (1079-1142) was a brilliant and controversial philosopher and theologian who, at the age of 39, was hired as a private tutor to Héloïse, niece of Canon Fulbert of Paris.

The two fell in love, secretly had a son, and married. When Héloïse's uncle discovered this, he had the unfortunate Abélard castrated and sent Héloïse to a convent. The two rarely saw one another for the remainder of their lives, but exchanged soulful love letters that have become famous. Héloïse became an abbess and Abelard continued to write and stir up theological controversy.

Abelard spent the last two years of his life as a monk at the Abbey of Cluny. Upon his death in 1142, he was buried at Héloïse's convent at her request, and she was buried next to him upon her death two years later. The two were later moved to Père-Lachaise, where they lie next to each other in elaborate tombs.


Quick Facts on Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Site Information
Names:Père-Lachaise Cemetery; Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
City:Paris
State:Ile-de-France
Country:France
Categories:Cemeteries
Faiths:Christianity
Feat:Famous Grave
Dates:1804
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Paris, France
Coordinates:48.861129° N, 2.393689° E  (view on Google Maps)
Website:www.pere-lachaise.com
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Below is a location map and aerial view of Père-Lachaise Cemetery. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Pere-Lachaise – official website
  2. Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise - Fodor's Paris
  3. Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise - Frommer's Paris
  4. Cimetière du Père Lachaise - Lonely Planet

More Information

Article Info

Title:Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:05/15/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/france/paris-pere-lachaise/france/paris
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/paris-pere-lachaise/france/paris">Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris</a>