Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Afternoon at Père-Lachaise

This afternoon the whole family went out for a walking tour at Père Lachaise, a huge cemetery owned by the city of Paris that is said to be the most visited cemetery in the world. Since it dates from the 19th century (and thus is practically new by French standards), the interest is because the place is chockful of celebrities. It was too crowded to get pictures of the tombs of Edith Piaf or Jim Morrison but here are a few of the other highlights.

Balzac. (Still haven't read anything by him yet.)

Delacroix. We also saw the tombs of two other great French painters of the 19th century, Gericault and David.

Gertrude Stein (Alice B. Toklas is buried in the same spot; her name is carved on the back of the same stone.)

Oscar Wilde. Those little blotchy marks are lipstick kisses.

This is just one monument from an entire section devoted to victims of the Nazis, including those sent to concentration camps and those fighting for the French resistance.

And then there are some average Joes, excuse me Raouls, buried here as well.

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