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An Afternoon with the Dead

A walk around Père Lachaise cemetery, the largest one of Paris, covering some 118 acres. The cemetery was established by Napoleon in1804.

At the time of its opening, the cemetery was seen as too far from the city and attracted few funerals. So the administrators devised a marketing strategy and with great fanfare organised the transfer of the remains of La Fontaine and Molière, in 1804. Then, in another great spectacle in 1817, the purported remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse were also transferred to the cemetery with their monument's canopy made from fragments of the abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine (by tradition, lovers or lovelorn singles leave letters at the crypt in tribute to the couple or in hope of finding true love).

This strategy had the desired effect when people began clamouring to be buried among the famous citizens. Records show that, within a few years, Père-Lachaise went from a few dozen permanent residents to more than 33,000. Today there are over 300,000 bodies buried there, and many more in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who had requested cremation.

The secret lair of Batman

Oh, yes, apparently Jim Morrison is somewhere around here...
Open-air museum

Some tombs are quite impressive by their size
The Casimir Perrier roundabout

An art nouveau tomb with incorporated roof garden
The quite impressive monument to baroness Strogonoff-Demidoff

Most of Napoleons generals rest here
"To the Rusty Angel"
General Ruty
Where to hide your bottles, No1
Where to hide your bottles, No2: the altar of Evian
Baby for sale!
"Tempus Fugit", "Time Flies"
Rembrandt Bugatti

One of the many monuments to the nazi concentration camps
some art déco
The catacombs of the colombarium
The funerarium in neo-romano-byzantinesque style
following the beautiful black kitty-cat
Boston in Paris

The Fallen Angel

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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