Le Père Lachaise
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Painters, Poets, & Rock and Roll
Pere Lachaise has got to be the coolest cemetery in the world. Although that claim is subject to personal opinion it is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris and one of it's oldest (Note that I have also visited Lafayette in New Orleans and Recoleta in Buenos Aires, amazing cemeteries in their own right!). It is reputed to be the world's most visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years. It is a beautiful place to walk around and fairly awe inspiring to be able to pay your respects to individuals that undoubtedly impacted your life in some way through their prose, artwork, paintings, music, acting, and dance. While there is a Pere Lachaise station on the #2 and #3 metro lines it is easiest to take the #3 metro to the Gambetta station to visit the cemetery. Visiting Jim Morrison's grave was a highlight for me because I love the Doors, but you're certain to find someone that fancies your interests buried in Pere Lachaise
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Together in Death at Pere Lachaise Cemetery
One of the most touching stories of all time is that of star-crossed lovers Heloise and Abelard whose tragic and illicit relationship so scandalized 12th century Parisians that they entered religious orders as a nun and monk as a fitting penance. Their love affair flourished for over 20 years through their passionate and now famous letters to each other. What was denied them in life was given to them in death when Josephine Bonaparte ordered their remains moved to Pere Lachaise Cemetery and to be entombed together for infinity. This touching memorial is only one of the reasons to visit this quiet yet spectacular cemetery. Also buried here are the remains of Chopin, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Modigliani, and Oscar Wilde to name just a few. Maps are available to assist you wend your way through this enormous and often confusing cemetery. However, it is worth it to experience this beautiful and tranquil final resting place of so many famous frenchmen and expats.
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