I had a friend’s friend accompany me on this particular tour. He’s lived in Paris for more than a decade and could not wrap his mind around the fact that I would be interested in a cemetery (We all know Africans and our fear of the dead). This site had however been proposed to me by a girlfriend who frequents Paris. As scary as it may sound, (First just take Lang’ata cemetery out of your mind), certain cemeteries in Europe are more of museums than an abode for the deceased. It also happens to be the place where one of my favourite classical music composers, Chopin was buried. (As well as the playwright Oscar Wilde and several other notable artists.)
Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris, sitting on about 110 acres and holds the remains of more than a million people. It also happens to be the most widely visited secular cemetery in the world.
A few tips for the cemetery;
1. Just like The louvre, the cemetery is pretty massive, so map out your sections of interest by doing prior research. There are some maps at the entrance as well.
2. Try go on a sunny day. The play of light and shadow on the tombs is pretty impressive. There’s are several trees so it’s still quite green and picturesque.
3. Walk up the hill to the cemetery’s summit. Beautiful views of Père-Lachaise and parts of Paris can be had from the hilltop.
4. Wear comfortable shoes, there’s bound to be lots of walking.