The Resting Place Of Paris Legends - Pere Lachaise

Sightseeing in a cemetery might sound a little strange, but many tourists visit Pere Lachaise in Paris. The cememtery, which can be found in the east side of the city - is one of the most famous in the world.

Although its official name is "Cimetiere de l'Est" ("Cemetery of the East"), it's far better know after the name of the 17th century priest Pere Francois de La Chaise, the confessor of Louis XIV.

The Creation of "Pere Lachaise"

In the 18th century, Paris was looking for ways to empty the ageing and unsanitary cemeteries in the centre of the city.

Many bodies were moved out of town, and millions ended up in the catacombs and, in 1804, the creation of the cemetery at Pere Lachaise took many more.

Initially, it lacked appeal for Parisians as it was so far away (there was no metro in 1804), so the city's rulers made a point of moving some "celebrities" to the cemetery.

So, among the earliest inhabitants were the playwright Moliere and Paris famous lovers Abelard and Heloise.

This tactic paid off and, before too long, Pere Lachaise became the most prestigious burial ground in Paris and many of the city's luminaries have had their funerals there.

Who Are The "Celebrities" Buried Here?

It's the final resting place of many people who played a major part in the history of the city. For example, Baron Haussmann, the town planner who helped redesign the city under Napoleon III.

Also buried there are Edith Piaf, Chopin, Moliere, Balzac, Proust, Maria Callas and, of course, Jim Morrison.

Chopin's Grave

(above) Chopin's grave at Pere Lachaise Cemetery

How To Get To Pere Lachaise

Getting to the cemetery is easy: it has a metro stop just outside. The stop is "Pere Lachaise" (easy to remember) and can be reached by Metro lines 2 and 3.

You can buy a map of the cemetery - which will show you where the graves of the famous people are buried - from the newspaper kiosk at the main exit of the metro stop.

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