Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 3, 2011

Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, Paris

I have been to Paris lots of times but I have never visited the Pere Lachaise cemetery. It is a short walk from where I am staying in Paris, and Sunday was a beautiful day, so, walk I did.
The cemetery is the size of a small town and set out with well kept cobble stone roads and lane ways.





Some of the tombs are large and impressive.




Some are more personal and quite touching.





Some people have a sense of fun, even in death.


The tombs come in all shapes and sizes.





I love the tiny details on many of the graves.








Many famous people are buried at Pere Lachaise, including Edith Piaf, Maria Callas, Federico Chopin, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. We followed the crowd to Jim Morrison.


The area around the grave is covered with grafitti.




We then found the tomb of Oscar Wilde, which is seriously covered in graffiti.


What makes this even more disappointing is the sign at the foot of the tomb.


For some reason people feel the need to kiss the stone tomb and leave lipstick prints. Why?




I’m sure Oscar would be happy to know he is loved, but there must be another way to show this. Just stand in front of the tomb and send happy thoughts.


  1. We loved Pere Lachaise, BdL – and although my photos aren’t up to your standard, it’s one of my most popular blog posts ever.

    • I love your post on the cemetery. It is quite curious the way we want to visit these people who are no longer with us.

  2. Cemetaries can be such amazing places to visit. What a shame that people defaced the graves-I’m sure they were trying to demonstrate their love and adoration of him. I wonder if they can sign a book or something a bit more practical?

  3. Enjoy your stay in Paris, I will be over there for a few days in November and am looking forward to it. I am very sad to see that Oscar Wilde’s tomb is covered in graffiti.

    • It is extremely hot here in Paris just now. I hope it cools down soon.

  4. I could have spent more time there, apart from the major historical figures who are in repose here I just enjoyed the artistry and symbols of devotion.

  5. I have not been here but your photos make me put it on my to do list.
    Enjoy beautiful Paris

  6. Père Lachaise is also an old favourite of mine. Unfortunately, security is a big issue there and the defacing of tombs continues. I wonder what makes some people do certain things…
    Enjoy your visit to Paris. Autumn is a magic time to be there. Possibly the best time of the year…

    • It should be the best time to be here, but it is so hot I am completely exhausted.

  7. I agree with you. I never like to touch anything so beautiful because I don’t want to ruin its beauty. But some people apparently just cannot stand to not touch.

  8. Very sad that people feel the need to vandalize such a peaceful place. It’s a complete lack of respect.

  9. No sé. Es una falta de respeto, pero tiene que ser muy bonito tener esas muestras de cariño.

    Me gusta tu blog. Un ssludi desde Castro Urdiales, Cantabria, España.

  10. my sister and I visited here on a very cold and wet day and we were
    mesmerised by the eerieness of it – your pictures show a completely different
    place to the one we remember.

    • I’m sure it would quiet different on a cold, damp day. I think that would add to the atmosphere.

  11. It’s funny how that cemetery is featured in so many films, I haven’t been there but feel like I know it.
    Such a shame with all the grafitti… just look people.

    • It seems incredible that people think it is OK to scrawl all over the tombs. The place is so beautiful, it should be cherished.

  12. This is a fascinating post, Deb–along with your chicken post–should be Freshly Pressed. Well done!

    • Thank you. We had a lovely afternoon there.

  13. Wow – fascinating! And amazing photos as always!

  14. I find the crypts facinating, and how I wish I was in Paris right now, enjoying the heat instead of the Melbourne Winter that keeps clawing its way back into what should be Spring

    • It is cool and damp here today, which is making me very happy indeed, except that I got drenched in a sudden downpour. I loathe the heat, and walking around Paris in the heat is exhausting. (not that I am complaining that much)

  15. I was sad when I saw the photos of Oscar Wilde’s grave when you posted this. However I was pleased to read in today’s Irish Times that ‘111 years to the day since the writer’s death, Ireland and France celebrated one of their shared cultural treasures yesterday with the unveiling of the restored tomb of Oscar Wilde’ Apparently the grave has been thoroughly cleaned and is now surrounded by a discrete glass screen.

    • I saw on BBC World that the tomb had been cleaned up. I think that is great. Apparently people are now starting to kiss a nearby tree. No doubt that will now die. People are strange.

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