Paying Homage

Paris is a very, very, very big city with a long, long, long history. That means that many people have expired there, quite a few of them famous. If you travel with me, you are bound to seek out cemeteries and final resting places. We got to four in Paris.

Cimetière de Montmartre

Here we found the graves of Berlioz, Degas (De Gas), Nadia Boulanger, Foucault (of pendulum fame), got lost a little, enjoyed the shade of a warm afternoon, and ran into a man feeding cats. He waved us down and asked if we spoke English (which we now know is a cue to shake our heads and run) and proceeded to ask us for money to help him feed the 100 cats in the cemetery. He pulled out a little card of the WWF to imply that he is somehow related to that organization. H gave him half a euro (I know it’s not much), and the man was offended and said that he couldn’t buy anything with that. He softened when H said that was all we had, but he didn’t offer to give it back. I don’t think we wanted to hand over a 20 euro note, and we were short on change at that moment.

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Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

This is the big Paris cemetery. You have your choice of three metro stops around the perimeter. We almost walked by one of the entrances by accident until I looked up above the wall and saw some of those little houses peeking above. There are so many famous people buried here that I will spare you them all, but here are a few pictures of ones we found.

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Bizet

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Balzac

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Chapel and Crematorium

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Columbarium

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Oscar Wilde – you can no longer kiss the front of his tombstone. The family got tired of cleaning it, so they put up a shield.

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But apparently you can still kiss the side

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Gertrude Stein. Alice Toklas is also here, but not her inscribed name.

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Stones and Metro tickets on Stein’s grave. Haven’t found a good explanation of the Metro tickets’ significance.

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Jim Morrison.

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Chopin

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Panthéon

Along with the kids on a field trip, we saw this grand indoor space. The tombs are downstairs. We also saw Louis Braille, but it was very dark (how appropriate) and I didn’t want to use my flash.

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Voltaire

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Dumas – All for One, One for All!

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Marie and Pierre Curie

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Les Invalides

And finally, Napoleon. You’d think he was rather keen on himself, what with a huge rotunda above him….

IMG_5133 IMG_5134 IMG_5138We could have gone to more cemeteries, but we thought we’d done plenty this time around.

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