Paris – The Pere-Lachaise

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The Père Lachaise Cemetery, July 2013, the 7th

+ The place


+ My feelings and historical part

I invite you to discover this cemetery, you will not be disappointed. I would just advise you to take a speaker. For around twenty euros, you won’t wander the aisles without knowing where to go. You can even choose the theme of your visit. The explanations given during this visit will also be punctuated by anecdotes.
Historical part
The Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest Parisian cemetery of Paris intra-muros and one of the most famous in the world. Situated in the 20th district, numerous celebrities are buried there. It is considered the cemetery the most visited to the world due to the number of the visitors.

It bears François’s name of Aix of The Chair says Father Lachaise who was the priest confessor of Louis XIV. Following the closure of the cemetery of the Innocents on December 1st, 1780, in late application of the law of 1765 which forbade cemeteries in town, Paris began to be lacking burial places.
Various cemeteries are born around Paris: the Montmartre Cemetery in the North, the cemetery of Montparnasse in the South and, on the West of the city, the Passy Cemetery. The site of the future Père Lachaise Cemetery was chosen to become that east. On May 21st, 1804 (1st Prairial the year XII), the cemetery was officially opened by a first burial but in 1815, there were no more than 2,000 graves.

Between 1824 and 1850, the cemetery passed from 576,772 feet to 144,1273 feet as 70,000 graves, 5,300 trees, hundred cats, of numerous birds and 3,5 million visitors.
A columbarium and a crematorium were set up (conceived in 1886 by Jean Camille Formigé). You should not forget that the cremation dates a law of November 15th, 1887 which proclaims the freedom of the burial and authorizes the cremation.
The cremation increases then further to the levying of the ban by the Roman Catholic Church in 1963.
This cemetery is multi-religion: there is numerous Jewish squares, Muslim. This Muslim square was opened in 1857 but closed further to the law of forbidden November 14th, 1881 the denominational squares. The mosque is preserved in spite of this law but was destroyed in 1914. It will be replaced by the Big Mosque of Paris.

This cemetery is also a real museum from the XIXe century, by the works of numerous architects and sculteurs. Several elements of the funeral heritage of the cemetery were registered or classified as “Historic Monuments”.
This square is also a big raised garden, with trees more than centenarians. Because of this immense raised park, about forty species of birds nested there as well as cats, lizards, bat, martens, hedgehogs and red squirrels.
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