Is France obsessed with graves?

However weird it may sound but the question “What will your tombstone say?” has been a conversation starter with me a lot of times at various bars and pubs. And I’ve somewhat realised the gravitas behind this intriguing thought.

During my recent and the only semi-solo trip, I discovered the French fascination with the folklores of the far from forgotten few – ‘Dead People’ (Fuhh se … focus!) Within 3 days in France I saw so many artistic depictions of omnipresent graves that it took my breath away.

From Leonardo Da Vinci to James Douglas Morrison, I had the pleasure to visit numerous shrines. So much so that I ended up spending one whole day at a cemetery and trust me when I say that it was a day well spent. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the first garden cemetery spread across 110 acres should be a must in your Paris itinerary. Here are a few of the beautiful and honourable resting places of the great that you would want to visit while you are in France:

Once home to French Royal Court, this small town called Amboise is just 2hr train journey away from Paris. And here at the scenic Château Royal d’Amboise you can visit Leonardo Da Vinci.

Leonardo Da Vinci at Château Royal d'Amboise

Leonardo Da Vinci at Château Royal d’Amboise

This was Victor Noir. The man who died in a duel just before getting married and hence the bulge. People come to his grave and touch him for fertility. The reason behind the grave looking specially polished at certain few parts.

Victor Noir at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Victor Noir at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Finally got to meet my love, James Douglas Morrison …

James Douglas Morrison at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

James Douglas Morrison at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Just before sunset I saw this grave of a man with the rose on an iron bed… If only I knew anything about him.

Man with the rose at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Man with the rose at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Théodore Géricault, famous painter of the ‘Raft of Medusa’ which made me stand in front of it gaping to glory.

Théodore Géricault at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

Théodore Géricault at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

J. Laffitte the inventor of soldering whose grave is decorated with an anvil and chains.Read it somewhere, an anvil commonly found on the graves of blacksmiths symbolises the creation or forging of the the universe… Here’s to a creator.

J. Laffitte at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

J. Laffitte at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

So yes my dear friends, dead or alive you can be an inspiration for someone…

P.S. Taking learnings from the Arnab show and many other breaking news both online and on TV, the title of this blog has a ‘question mark’, ‘name of a country’ and an intriguing word ‘graves’. 
P.P.S. The best way to explore Cimetière du Père-Lachaise is by downloading offline maps from Maps.me 🙂 point to point navigation guaranteed!
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4 thoughts on “Is France obsessed with graves?

  1. Pingback: Paris – My first solo trip and how I fell in love with walking, alone in the city of love. | THE GIGGLER

  2. Pingback: A long walk to remember – Amboise, France | THE GIGGLER

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