Famous Graves With Many Stories To Tell... Paris

May 24 2024.

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There is a cemetery in northern Paris that ranks most visited in the world. Pere Lachaise has more established stars and celebrities buried there than any other location. I’m sure the Americans reading this will disagree. The architectural styles and structures are amazing.

With 110 acres over three hundred thousand burials, and even more ashes and plaques, it’s the final resting place of over a million people, in one way or another. Plenty of ostentatious tombs, mini-looking chapels, crypts, and memorials densely packed around a hill make this location worthy of an afternoon. There is a site where u can see the bullet holes when in  1871 some 147 Communards were shot. Napoleon, who I believe was given a raw deal in the last movie on his life was the inspiration for the cemetery early in 1904.

My tour guide is an out-of-work actor who does drama school and is the best most prolific cemetery guide I’ve ever met. He walks downhill backwards whilst entertaining us telling us his grave stories, lots of history and many little unknown facts.

My number one grave to visit is that of Oscar Wilde, l just love his humour and feel sad about his persecution by the British. He was a father a husband, gay and the most amazing writer of his time. His whit and story telling are well known and documented. A week before he died he became a Christian, his last sarcastic defiant act as a penniless Irish atheist author. When I first saw photos of his grave it looked so large and imposing. It’s quite small however in real life. His body was moved from his first grave to the current one. The testicles on his modern grave were hacked off, someone thought he may not need them.

My second grave to see and understand is that of Jim Morrison who died at 27 of a drug-induced heart attack. Read about “the 27 Club “, Jim was an early member. He had previously disowned his family telling the press they were all dead. So when he died his family refused to have his body returned to the USA. So he lies there all alone an American in a foreign land but he and Oscar get a thousand people from all over the world visiting daily. Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt and numerous famous French legends, former French presidents and stars are buried here.

So become a Tapophile get out there and find a grave near you or better still a cemetery. 

The Whinging Pome


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