The Pére Lachaise Cemetery looks like everyday could be Halloween in Paris. It’s the largest resting place for writers, artists, thinkers and revolutionaries from as far back as the 18th century. And it is erie. Crumbling tombstones, broken-in mausoleums, gothic crypts, and deep vaults – I wouldn’t be caught dead in here after dark!
But in the daytime, this place is one of the most intriguing paths to tiptoe through – not to mention how easy it is to get get lost in the trails. After we ran around in circles in this labrinyth, we realized there’s an office with free maps. Sigh.
Tip: Make sure you get a map!
Note his worn out pants and shoes. Victor Noir was a French writer who’s grave is now a fertility symbol. Women flock here to kiss his lips (those are worn out too), put a flower in his top hat, and rub him in his *special area* in hopes they’ll have children, a good sex life, or a husband in a year. It got so bad – women were even jumping on top of him (insert your imagination here) that French authorities had to put up a barrier to keep them away. Eventually the French protested and it came down.
We were lucky enough to see Oscar Wilde‘s tomb of kisses and red lipstick tributes before the city washed it clean last year. Apparently, they now added a glass barrier to keep the girls off this man. Clearly other things were rubbed besides his face.
Legend has it that Jim Morrison is guarded with a black cat that sits on top of his gravesite every night. We paid a visit to Mr. Morrison himself because ghost tales are fun. Disappointingly on his gravesite, we saw no cat. Not even a paw print.
And then on our way back look who we found…
I don’t know for sure if this could be the cat but it definitely made for an eerie encounter. In my gut, I felt like it was the Jim Morrison cat. It had to be. What were the chances of finding a black cat here exactly as the urban legend says?
So many crypts are covered in webs and spiders. If you look closely you can see one here.
The cemetery is full of passageways and twisting lanes that lead into one another.
Best way to get there: Métro Philippe Auguste (Lines 2 and 3) in the 20th arrondissement on Boulevard de Ménilmontant.
Entrance fee: Free!