Friday, June 8, 2012

Top Paris tourist attraction

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Paris' 2nd most popular tourist attraction

According to Frommer's
When it comes to name-dropping, this cemetery knows no peer; it has been called the "grandest address in Paris." Everybody from Sarah Bernhardt to Oscar Wilde to Richard Wright is resting here, along with Honoré de Balzac, Jacques-Louis David, Eugène Delacroix, Maria Callas, Max Ernst, and Georges Bizet. Colette was taken here in 1954; her black granite slab always sports flowers, and legend has it that cats replenish the roses. In time, the "little sparrow," Edith Piaf, followed.
Way back when Père Lachaise" was a poor district, with many outlaws, winding streets and shady avenues. It is located on the hill of Champ 'Evêque", where a wealthy merchant first built his home in 1430.

In the 17th century the Jésuits, acquired the home and converted it into a hospice for members of their order.

Father François de La Chaise d'Aix - known as 'Le Père La Chaise' was Louis XIV's confessor. Louis XIV’s had visited the area in 1652, and it was thereafter called Mont-Louis.

By the time Le Père La Chaise died in 1709, the property had been considerably expanded due to royal gifts. 

The property was destroyed in the Revolution and the Empire which followed. The 17 acres became the property of the Ville de Paris. The city was looking for new cemetery locations and Brongniart the architect got the Pére-Lachaise job, which was ready for its opening on 21. May.

The Paris government had decided to clear out the cemeteries located near churches in the city and Pere Lachaise was chosen for those formerly buried in the 5th, 7th and 8th arrondissements.

The fear of the stench from the mass graves of Saints Innocents in Paris lead to the removal of all human remains and was performed on winter nights over a two year period, from 1785-1787.

The removed bones were placed in the Catacombs, named after the Roman catacombs. The Paris Catacombs were abandoned quarries once populated by thieves and the homeless. The skeletal remains were sorted and stacked neatly by type, modeled after the example set by Rome. The transfer of other urban cemeteries to the Catacombs continued until the late 1870s. The Catacombs is the resting-place for the remains of over six million Parisians. The Catacombs became a popular novelty for the old nobility who held dinner parties and picnics underground in the Paris Catacombs.



Receive via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



past posts

Blog Button

rather be in paris