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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Mysteries and Legends of Père Lachaise Cemetery – An Uncommon Strolling Tour

Go to Père Lachaise Cemetery –The Most Well-known Cemetery in Paris

Uncover one of many most stunning cemeteries in Paris, the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Within the twentieth Arrondissement of Paris, the Père-Lachaise Cemetery is a sprawling 44-hectare park (the most important park in Paris), combining elegant landscaping and semi-wild areas. With greater than 70,000 tombs and a number of other fantastic funerary sculptures, the Père Lachaise Cemetery is probably the most well-known cemetery in Paris and in addition the world’s most well-known cemetery, an open-air museum that’s visited by 3 million individuals yearly!

The record of well-known individuals buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery is lengthy and contains names like Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrisson, Apollinaire, and extra.

However the Cemetery of Père Lachaise’s fame can also be as a result of legends whose Cemetery is full and secrets and techniques jealously guarded by the graves of nameless and well-known individuals.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

For this various Père Lachaise tour, removed from the crowds, we’ll skip probably the most well-known graves in Père Lachaise Cemetery to study extra concerning the mysteries and legends of a few of the characters of the time. You possibly can take this Père Lachaise strolling tour anytime, however it’s preferrred throughout Halloween in Paris, maybe adopted by the Catacombs of Paris particular tour.

This Père Lachaise tour will cowl the extra centrally-located burial grounds, which correspond to probably the most historical a part of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. On prime of this, additionally, you will love the unbelievable panoramic views over Paris!

Historical past of Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery

With the internal metropolis cemeteries of Paris largely full by the late 18th century, the Metropolis made a concerted effort to develop bigger cemeteries on its outskirts of Paris. The Cemetery of Père Lachaise was opened below the instruction of Napoleon I in 1804. The location was named after Père François de la Chaise, a Jesuit and the confessor of King Louis XIV, who lived there within the seventeenth century.

Cemetery of Père Lachaise Map

Map of Père Lachaise Cemetery by Google My Maps (c)

Right here’s the map of Père Lachaise Cemetery with all of the tales of this strolling tour pinpointed. If you wish to prolong this Père Lachaise tour, you possibly can decide up a map on the entrance of Père Lachaise that may lead you towards a few of the Cemetery’s most well-known graves.

Click on right here to see this Père Lachaise map on Google Maps

Mysteries and Legends of Père Lachaise Tour (Self-Guided)

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris

This Père Lachaise strolling tour begins from the principle entry at Boulevard de Ménilmontant. The closest metro station is Père Lachaise (strains 2 and three).

The Cemetery’s Little Guardian

In French folklore, it’s believed that the primary individual to be buried in a cemetery turns into the guardian of the souls of the place. For individuals who love this type of tales, the Père Lachaise Cemetery can be haunted by the spirit of just a little woman.

Within the Cemetery of Père Lachaise, the title belongs to a five-year-old woman named Adelaïde Paillard de Villeneuve. She was certainly the primary to be buried in a person tomb in 1804, solely 15 days after the opening of the Cemetery. This grave now not exists, because the plot was a brief concession.

When her non permanent concession expired, a gravedigger with a coronary heart too tender to get rid of her little physique within the frequent grave would have reburied her secretly and anonymously within the heights of the Cemetery (tomb #13 on this Père Lachaise map).

Though there isn’t a written proof, an unofficial location is however maintained within the forty second Division. This tiny graveyard is positioned throughout the limits of Père Lachaise Cemetery, drawn by Brongiart in 1804.

A Very Particular Membership

Within the third Division of the Cemetery, the tomb of Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Excursions (1804-1884), a well-known psychiatrist of his time, is commonly adorned with joints. Right here’s the story.

Moreau de Excursions was the primary doctor to do systematic work on medicine’ results on the central nervous system and to catalog, analyze, and document his observations. He’s the founding father of the Membership des Haschischins, frequented by well-known writers and artists like Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, and Honoré de Balzac.

The Membership’s month-to-month classes occurred on the Resort de Lauzun on the Ile de Saint Louis. The classes had been nicknamed fantasies as a result of the drug was taken within the type of dawamesk, cannabis jam blended with honey, pistachio flour, butter, and hashish resin. A scrumptious cake, certainly!

Moreau de Excursions ensured that the classes and consumption went easily, which went by three phases: amplification of sensations, distortion of time, and visible hallucinations. He additionally needed to care for some members, who unexpectedly had been tempted to fly by the resort’s home windows!

Via cautious statement of individuals’s reactions to cannabis – notably their openness to strategies and willingness to think about new prospects – Moreau de Excursions theorized that psychoactive substances may deal with or replicate psychological sickness in a method to assist remedy sufferers.

Paris’ Well-known Fortune Teller

Within the third Division are additionally the stays of Mademoiselle Lenormand (1772-1843), probably the most well-known fortune-teller of her time.

By seven, she was already telling the Benedictine’s fortune within the convent the place she lived (a lot to the nuns’ dismay). She was expelled for that very purpose, and she or he moved to Paris through the first years of the French Revolution.

In Paris, she had a small bookshop at Rue de Tournon the place well-known figures of the Revolution got here to seek the advice of her. She predicted the violent dying of Marat, Robespierre, and Saint-Simply, for which she was imprisoned.

Her brief time in jail meant good advertising, and when she left it, all Paris of the Listing got here to seek the advice of her.

Amongst her shoppers, Joséphine de Beauharnais requested about one among her pretendants, a “little Corsican officer with out fortune and doubtless with out future.”

Miss Lenormand would have replied: “Your little officer has an amazing future. He’ll surpass all males of this time. He’ll affiliate you along with his glory. However beware! This glory might be fleeting, and your love will price you a lot tears!”

This “little officer” was Napoléon I, who additionally grew to become a very good shopper of Lenormand. However he ended up imprisoning her by treason, upset by a few of these predictions.

A century and a half after his dying, his tomb continues to be adorned with quite a few marks of affection. It’s customary for a brand new fortune teller to return and place his deck on her tomb for one evening in order that it’s charged and guided by the spirit of the one who prophesied within the ear of the highly effective.

The American Widow

Winifred Parsons was a fantastic and rich girl, the daughter of Charles Parsons, president of the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg Railroad. She left New York to return to Paris to affix her fiancé, Emile Maas, the director of the Société des Vehicles Passe-Partout.

Emile was ready for sure formalities to be accomplished to marry the younger woman when he was the sufferer of a automobile accident and died. From that day on, Miss Parsons had solely the concept of ​​dying on her thoughts.

Winifred rented a room at 72 Avenue de Iéna. Each morning, she got here out of her room dressed all in black. She purchased flowers and went to cry within the Père Lachaise Cemetery on the grave of her fiancé. She, who was so full of life and cheerful earlier than, now not spoke to anybody.

She introduced a number of instances her intention to place an finish to this insupportable martyrdom. She acquired a revolver, and for a number of days, she carried the weapon together with her with out deciding to make use of it. However on 22 August 1908, having dressed herself, she bought into mattress and shot herself within the head.

The police carried out the same old findings and warned the household of the unlucky younger woman. The physique remained within the fairly resort room that morning, scented by the flowers that the younger woman had organized herself earlier than dying. Two months later, Miss Parsons lastly joined her beloved fiancé at Père Lachaise (tomb #3 on this Père Lachaise Cemetery map).

A Profitable Advertising and marketing Technique

Tomb of Heloise and Abelard - Père Lachaise

Héloïse and Abélard are two well-known lovers of Medieval Paris, the Romeo and Juliet of France! You possibly can examine Héloïse and Abélard’s unimaginable love and tragic ending on this publish.

On the time of its opening, the Cemetery of Père Lachaise was thought-about too removed from town and attracted few funerals. Furthermore, most individuals most well-liked to be buried on the foot of their favourite bell tower, so in 1804, the Père Lachaise Cemetery contained solely 13 graves.

To draw extra burials, the stays of French poet Jean de La Fontaine and well-known French playwright Molière had been moved to the Cemetery inside a yr of its opening. This helped elevate the profile of Père Lachaise, however it nonetheless didn’t show notably fashionable.

It wasn’t till Joséphine Bonaparte had the stays of Abélard and Heloïse moved to the Père Lachaise in 1817 that the Père Lachaise Cemetery grew to become “à la mode,” with individuals clamoring to be buried among the many well-known residents. With Abélard and Heloïse entombed close to its entrance (tomb #4 on this Père Lachaise map), the variety of interments grew from just a few dozen to 33,000 inside just a few years. Merci, Héloïse et Abélard!

The Man Who Made the Useless Converse

Within the eighth Division, there’s probably the most unbelievable tombs of the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, which belongs to Etienne-Gaspard Robertson (1763-1837). Born in Liège, Belgium, Robertson outlined himself as a physicist, phantasmagorician, and aeronaut, in keeping with his epitaph (tomb #5 on this map of Père Lachaise Cemetery).

Robertson was a gifted painter from an early age and made a residing by small portray commissions whereas attending lectures on the burgeoning science of electrical energy. These mixed abilities had been first utilized in a plan to assemble Archimedes’ light-reflecting dying ray for the federal government of France. The mission went nowhere, however getting ready for it gave Robertson a sensible, working data of optics that impressed his experiments: elaborate horror spectacles referred to as phantasmagoria.

On the Pavillon Echiquier, then on the Couvent des Capucines, he arrange darkish efficiency halls lit by candles, richly adorned however sinister. Inventor of the fantascope, he projected photographs of ghosts or skeletons onto canvas screens utilizing a system of glass plates and mirrors. He even woke up lifeless characters like Marat, Danton, or Robespierre! His performances thrilled and terrified Parisians for 4 years earlier than transferring along with his innovations to different locations in Europe and North America.

The phantasmagoria stays Robertson’s most enduring legacy, eclipsing his scientific contributions to optics and his pioneering use of scorching air balloons to gather atmospheric and meteorological information. All these points of his life are documented by the ornament and phantasmagoric sculptures of his tomb.

Not With My Coronary heart

Fredrick Chopin is without doubt one of the most well-known individuals buried at Père Lachaise (tomb #6 on this Père Lachaise map). The worry of being buried alive led Chopin to request the elimination of his coronary heart – he needed to make certain to not get up 6 toes beneath the bottom! He additionally made the request that his coronary heart be despatched again to Poland, his residence nation, figuring out that his physique would by no means go away Paris.

When he handed, Chopin’s eldest sister complied along with his will, taking the guts earlier than his physique could possibly be buried and secreting it again to Poland in a jar of booze. She hid the package deal below her cloak, avoiding officers’ questions concerning the physique half she was carrying. She may smuggle it to the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, the place it was buried beneath a small monument.

Perpetually Love

We don’t know a lot concerning the musician, actor, and architect Fernand Arbelot (tomb #7 on this Père Lachaise Cemetery map). Nonetheless, he has left fairly a legacy within the type of a novel tomb.

The tomb depicts him mendacity on his again, holding up a disembodied head and gazing into its chilly, stone eyes. An epitaph reads, “They had been amazed on the stunning journey which led them to the tip of life.”

Legend states that Arbelot’s want behind the tomb design was to gaze upon his spouse’s stunning face for all eternity. Nonetheless, trying on the masks, it’s as if the masks was crying.

Some unsubstantiated claims point out that he sped that need alongside by killing her spouse earlier than taking his personal life in a murder-suicide. Which model do you want most?

From right here, we advise taking a brief detour to Avenue de la Chapelle to admire the views (level #8 on this map of Père Lachaise Cemetery). On 2 July 1652, younger King Louis XIV witnessed the combating of The Fronde raging within the Faubourg Saint-Antoine within the firm of Mazarin and the court docket. A cannonball fired from the Bastille by his cousin, the Grande Mademoiselle, would have ended up at his toes. Miracle! The hill was then named Mont Saint-Louis in homage to this Royal go to.

After taking within the views, stroll again and search for the Chemin du Dragon (marked on this Père Lachaise map as Chemin des Chèvres).

The Path of the Vampires?

Within the Cemetery of Père Lachaise, Le Chemin du Dragon (Dragon’s Path in English) pays homage to Antoine Guillaume-Lagrange, an officer who died in Poland through the Napoleonic Prussian marketing campaign. Though it designates the troopers touring on horseback, the phrase dragon primarily evokes the disturbing mythological creatures related to evil. From the Latin dracodracul in Romanian – and a few of the tombs alongside the trail, it was just one step for this path to be nicknamed the Path of the Vampires!

Alongside this path, you can see the mausoleum of a mysterious Countess (see the following story) and the tomb of Georges III Bibesco, prince of Valachia (historical Romanian medieval principality).

Georges III Bibesco’s title comes from his ancestor, Vlad III Tepes, a merciless prince who reigned within the fifteenth century, often known as Draculea, son of the Dragon. We don’t know if he believed the tales associated to his ancestor, however his tomb (level #10 on this Père Lachaise Cemetery map) is surmounted by a royal eagle, holding in its claws a crucifix and a sword resembling a stake, the vampire hunter’s favourite weapons…

A Mysterious Russian Countess

Additionally, within the Chemin du Dragon, Countess Demidoff’s final resting place is the Cemetery’s second-largest mausoleum (level #9 on this Père Lachaise map). However most attention-grabbing is the story of the Countess’ testomony.

The Deminoff was one of many wealthiest households in Russia till the autumn of the final Tsar. Bored of his husband, Countess Elisabeth Alexandrovna Strogonoff-Demidoff moved to Paris, the place she lived till he died in 1818.

In her testomony, the Countess donated her fortune to whoever may watch over her corpse for a complete yr. The candidate should be alone with the lifeless for three hundred and sixty five days and nights earlier than the entire Countess’ fortune is gained. Although a servant would carry meals repeatedly to the watcher, any makes an attempt to speak with this worker had been strictly forbidden. The contender was allowed to go away their gloomy lodgings as soon as a day “to walk among the many tombs for an hour.” However this stroll needed to be undertaken after the Cemetery’s gates had closed for the evening or earlier than they opened within the morning.

For sure, the Countess acquired 1000’s of requests to maintain her firm. A dozen or so even tried it, and so they grew to become mad – claiming that the Countess’ ghost had visited them and had tried to suck the life out of them – or dedicated suicide. The Cemetery has acquired requests till 1980.

Courageous Amongst Braves

On the finish of the Chemin du Dragon, within the twenty ninth Division (#11 on this map of Père Lachaise Cemetery), there’s the tomb of Marshal Michel Ney, one among Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte’s well-known army commanders. He was nicknamed “courageous amongst braves” by Napoléon I himself.

Nonetheless, when Napoléon abdicated, Ney was the primary Marshal to desert him to place himself within the companies of the brand new King Louis XVIII!

Whereas he promised the brand new King to carry Napoléon in an iron cage, he modified his thoughts once more and rallied to the Emperor. Nonetheless, the defeat at Waterloo in 1815 undoubtedly prevented Napoléon’s return to energy. Again to the throne, King Louis XVIII and the Chambre des Pairs sentenced Maréchal Ney to dying, and he was shot to dying in an alley of the Luxembourg Gardens. That is when the story ends, and legend begins…

Certainly one of South Carolina’s most fascinating tales and biggest mysteries is the true id of a trainer who glided by the identify Peter Stuart. He arrived by ship in Charleston in 1816. He was a really clever man – he may converse no less than 5 languages and was a poet and an skilled in arithmetic – and he was an skilled horseback rider and swordsman. His solely defect is that he appreciated booze maybe an excessive amount of.

One spring day in 1821, the professor was discovered bloody in his sheets, knife in hand. He had simply tried suicide. The day earlier than, the gazette had introduced the dying of Napoléon on the Island of Saint Helena. Later, he stated in despair that he may by no means go residence to France to be along with his spouse and youngsters (he by no means married within the US).

Through the years, Peter Stuart stated and did sufficient to make individuals imagine that the rumors about his previous rang had been true. Lastly, in November 1846, when Stuart was dying of pneumonia, his physician requested about his true id. Rising from his mattress, he instructed the physician that, certainly, he was Marshal Ney. After he died, his physique was examined. It was coated in scars, stated by some to match the injuries Marshal Ney had acquired in battle.

In 1903, work was undertaken on the tomb of the Ney household on the Cemetery of Père Lachaise, which required non permanent exhumations. Then, a gravedigger claimed that the Marshal’s coffin was empty. The gravedigger all of the sudden disappeared, and the key stays hidden.

The Man Who Saved France from the Famine

The thirty ninth Division (tomb #12 on this Père Lachaise map) homes the grave of Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813), the promoter of the potato in France. Since his funeral, followers of those tubers have positioned them day by day on the sting of Parmentier’s grave, generally with type little phrases (e.g., “Thanks for the fries!”), engraved within the potatoes.

Throughout his captivity in Prussia, Parmentier may respect the dietary virtues of the potato. Received over by the dietary worth of the vegetable, Parmentier determined, upon his return to France, to develop its use to resolve the issue of endemic famines, which had been nonetheless ravaging France at the moment.

Along with this analysis, Parmentier started promoting his favourite meals. He repeatedly invited illustrious personalities, scientists or notables, to his desk, and he solely served them dishes ready with “parmentière,” as he favored to name the tuber. King Louis XVI heard about this new vegetable and, as an amazing lover of discoveries, started to take an curiosity in it.

However probably the most difficult half was to persuade the individuals! At the moment, all of the greens rising beneath the bottom had been thought-about a product of the satan. And he solved the issue arousing envy and lust.

Thus, to make individuals imagine this was a prestigious vegetable reserved for the King and his entourage, Parmentier had his vegetable backyard guarded by royal guards… However solely through the day! At evening, he let thieves and curious individuals uncover this treasured vegetable that the court docket jealously guarded!

On the best way to the following tomb of this Père Lachaise tour, you’ll go by the stays of Molière and Jean de La Fontaine (#13 on this Père Lachaise Cemetery map). They had been relocated to the adjoining plots in 1817 as a part of the advertising technique beforehand talked about, though for numerous causes, nobody is aware of for certain whether or not it’s actually their bones that lie within the graves. Take Chemin Laplace, flip left on Chemin des Anglais (the place you possibly can see Adelaïde’s supposed tomb, #14), then head to level #15 within the 92nd Division.

The Erotic Tomb

A journalist for La Marseillaise, Victor Noir (1848-1870) died throughout a duel with Napoleon’s cousin. His tomb represents his stays simply after the struggle, and we are able to even see the opening in his chest.

However this isn’t the very first thing to catch your eye about this tomb! For the sake of realism and honesty, the sculptor additionally reproduced the autopsy erection of poor Victor.

Victor Noir’s tomb grew to become an emblem of fertility (or different), and since then, girls have come to rub shoulders with this bronze penis to extend their possibilities of having youngsters. You’ll shortly discover the depigmentation of the colour.

And there you have got it, another Père Lachaise strolling tour that covers a few of the mysteries and legends of probably the most well-known cemetery in Paris. We didn’t have the time to go to the tomb of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, or Marcel Proust, however we hope you had an amazing journey again in time!

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