Père Lachaise cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris and one of the most visited graveyards in the world. More than thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this Paris graveyard in order to admire the beauty and elegance of the place, and to pay respect to the famous people who are resting at the Père Lachaise cemetery.
Tourists who are going on their first Père Lachaise tour will get a feeling that the bohemians and bourgeoisie of those days were participating with each other on who has the best and fanciest eternal resting spot. If you are a person who loves history, then you will be excited to see the fascinating graves of some of the most influential people inside the famous Père Lachaise graveyard or Paris.
It is crucial to note that Père Lachaise cemetery in the City of Lights is not just an ordinary cemetery; instead, it is one of the finest spots in the city, which offers you a peace of mind during your private Paris tours. In addition to that, the cobblestone lanes that crisscross the green grounds of the cemetery are the ideal place to take a stroll with your friends and loved ones.
Visiting the Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris will feel like stepping back in time and you will be also able to see the graves of some immortal figures in both world and French history. Once you enter the cemetery, you can see that the tourists are engaged in some sort of weird ‘scavenger hunt’, as they are navigating, rushing, and trying to make it the graves of a famous politician, singer, or writer.
The immense satisfaction that you can see on the faces of these tourists will give you a clear idea on why Père Lachaise cemetery should be on top of your list of places to see while you are visiting Paris. Below are some of the fascinating graves that you can see in the Père Lachaise cemetery.
Félix Faure served as the president of France from the year 1895 until he died in 1899. His presidency is immensely famous among Parisians for the Dreyfus affair and the Franco-Russian alliance. However, it was his death that spread his name to the whole world. Félix Faure died after experiencing an apoplectic episode when he was in bed with his mistress Marguerite Steinheil. If you take a look at Faure’s tomb, you will be able to see that he is draped in a flag or cloth, which depicts how “politics” got into his life.
Georges Rodenbach, who was one of the best Belgian poets and writers of the 19th Century, also rests here at the Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris. Rodenbach is most famous for his critically acclaimed novel, Bruges-la-Morte, which was later transformed into the opera Die Tote Stadt. The tomb of the Belgian writer has a bronze figure that is trying to break out of the graveyard. Some people claim that the tomb of Georges Rodenbach is trying to say that death cannot stop the artist.
Molière, who was also known as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, was one of the best and finest comic playwrights ever. Molière had fallen prey to TB and he was unable to recover from it. Yet despite the illness, he insisted on performing in his play Le Malade Imaginaire (The Hypochondriac). In the play, Molière portrayed a man who is suffering from a disease that he does not have. While he was playing the part, Molière fall prey to a coughing fit and died at his home later. The remains of Molière were transferred to his tomb in Père Lachaise in the year 1817.
One of the most popular and remarkable tombs in the Père Lachaise cemetery belongs to the lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison. Morrison was actually buried in an unmarked grave in the cemetery after he died of a drug overdose in the year 1971. Several tourists who visit the cemetery head straight to the grave of Jim Morrison to leave gifts. Some of them also used to write messages and poems around the gravestone. The authorities of the cemetery hired a guard a few years back to ensure that visitors do not damage the grave.
The most famous tomb in the Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris is undoubtedly the tomb of Oscar Wilde. The tomb of Wilde that has an angel displaying its genitalia was defaced right after the erection of the tomb. If you take a close look at the tomb, you can see that it is covered in lipstick, as several women kiss the monument to pay respect to Oscar Wilde. In addition, you can also find a verse from Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gao on the tomb.