Perched on a wooded rolling hillside overlooking Paris, the Cemetery Pere Lachaise offers residents and visitors to the city a peaceful, quiet, and visually enthralling oasis within the bustling metropolis. And, it is free of charge! Cobblestone pathways meander through tightly packed marble and granite monuments in memory to faces and lives once lived. The great variety of shapes and sizes and styles of these constructions of memorial provide intriguing and highly creative compositions of form and space, all of which is mingled with intermittent tall and graceful trees and the sounds of songbirds. Turn a corner and you might be confronted face to face with a weathered bronze figure in a perpetual pose of sorrow and grief and exuding melancholic facial expressions that move your soul. Around another corner an enlightened artist reclines musingly atop his monument, enticing you to climb up and view his latest creation.
When in Paris, I wholeheartedly recommend you visit this garden of repose either in the early morning or late evening when the sun’s rays are low creating a playful combinations of light and shadow and the number of visitors in minimal in order to more fully enjoy the bucolic and supernatural aspects of this place. Even then, don’t be too surprised to see a grouping of admiring fans hovering near some of the notable interred residents such as Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and many more.