At 48 ha (118.6 acres), the Père Lachaise Cemetery is one of Paris’ largest. However, it isn’t its size what makes this place remarkable; it’s the sheer beauty and romanticism that surround it.
Aptly called the city of the dead by locals, Père Lachaise was founded by Napoleon in 1801, after worries about health hazards ended in the prohibition of cemeteries inside the city of Paris. Found northeast of the capital, its distance from Paris initially made the cemetery unpopular. In an effort to boost funerals, the administrators had the remains of Moliére, La Fontaine, Piérre Abélard and Héloise transferred to Pére Lachaise.
The move had the desired effects, and before long, countless Parisians clamored to have their loved ones buried by such names. Abélard and Héloise have become an attraction for hopeful lovers ever since, who deposit letters at the shared gravesite.
Other famous figures resting at Père Lachaise – which now houses over 300,000 remains – include Jim Morrison, Stephane Grappelli, Maria Callas, Balzac, Apollinaire, Chopin and Modigliani, among many others.
With its narrow, winding pathways (each with its own name), rolling hills and thousands of trees, Père Lachaise Cemetery makes for an unusual, breathtaking experience.
The haunting beauty of Père Lachaise can be enjoyed all year round, practically all day long and don’t be worried about the distance that used to put Parisians off back in the day – due to modern transportation and its vast expansion, Père Lachaise is not as far from the city’s center as when first founded.
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