CIMÉTIÈRE DU PÈRE LACHAISE

Cementerio Lachaise
Père Lachaise
In its early years Père Lachaise" was a poor district, with many outlaws, winding streets and shady avenues. It is located on the hill of Champ 'Evêque", where a wealthy merchant first built his home in 1430. In the 17th century the Jésuits, acquired the home and converted it into a hospice for members of their order. Father François de La Chaise d'Aix - known as 'Le Père La Chaise' was Louis XIV's confessor. Louis XIV’s had visited the area in 1652, and it was thereafter called Mont-Louis. By the time Le Père La Chaise died in 1709, the property had been considerably expanded due to royal gifts. Count La Chaise, head of the king's bodyguard, also had a place on Mont-Louis, which was known for its opulent parties with guests who wanted to get to know the king's confessor better; in order to meet the king. In 1763 the Jesuits were evicted and the property was purchased by the Baron family in 1771. The property was destroyed in the Revolution and the Empire which followed. The 17 acres became the property of the Ville de Paris. The city was looking for new cemetery locations and Brongniart the architect got the Pére-Lachaise job, which was ready for its opening on 21. May. The Paris government had decided to clear out the cemeteries located near churches in the city and Pere Lachaise was chosen for those formerly buried in the 5th, 7th and 8th arrondissements. New cemeteries were needed as an alternative to the horrendous burial conditions in the city. The fear of disease-causing "miasmas" from rotting corpses lead to designating new cemeteries on the outskirts of Paris, in the fashion of the Greeks and Romans. These included Pere Lachaise . The fear of the stench from the mass graves of Saints Innocents in Paris lead to the removal of all human remains and was performed on winter nights over a two year period, from 1785-1787. The removed bones were placed in the Catacombs, named after the Roman catacombs. The Paris Catacombs were abandoned quarries once populated by thieves and the homeless. The skeletal remains were sorted and stacked neatly by type, modelled after the example set by Rome. The transfer of other urban cemeteries to the Catacombs continued until the late 1870s. The Catacombs is the resting-place for the remains of over six million Parisians.
Père Lachaise
Père Lachaise
The Catacombs became a popular novelty for the old nobility who held dinner parties and picnics underground in the Paris Catacombs.
Pere Lachaise opened as a Cemetery in 1804 and became a very successful piece of land speculation. Nicolas Frochot, the urban planner who developed the cemetery, persuaded the civil authorities to rebury Molière, La Fontaine, Abélard and Héloïse in his new cemetery. Quickly Père-Lachaise became the ultimate symbol for the rich and famous as well as an affirmation of the role of government. Frochot, even sold a plot to the original owner for considerably more money than the price he had paid for the entire site. Even today, the fees are extremely high. Some of the most celebrated dead have unremarkable tombs while those whose fame died with them have the most expressive monuments. Of the twenty cemeteries in Paris, Père-Lachaise is the most famous, it now has over 70,000 plots and receives some two million visitors a year from all over the world. With 44 hectares and 5,300 trees, Père-Lachaise is also the largest park in Paris. Beyond its primary function, this famous Romantic-inspired necropolis, designed by Brongniart, has become an open-air museum and pantheon garden. At first, the new cemetery was named Cemetery de l'Est. The former owner of the property, James Baron, was buried in it in 1822 as well as the architect of it, Brongniart. The cemetery was enlarged five times until 1850. From the beginning the cemetery has been multi-denominational. Students from polytechnical schools built the walls to transform the cemetery into a fortress during the battles of 1814. However, the Russians captured it on the third assault. During the battles of the Commune in 1871, fallen 'Federals' were buried here; including those executed in the cemetery itself and in the battles in the Rue de la Roquette and the Place Voltaire. A total of 1,018 were killed in the repression. The oldest identifiable bones in the cemetery belong to Abailard, who died in 1141 and Héloise who died 23 years later in 1164, also at the age of 63. Famous people buried here include authors Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Honore de Balzac, and singers Edith Piaf, Chopin and Jim Morrison (whose grave is one of the most visited).


PARC DE BELLEVILLE


This parc inaugurated in 1988 and located on the Belleville hill is the highest of Paris. A terrace situated at the top of the parc provides a panoramic view of Paris. Here is also the Musée de l’Air to be found: this small museum aims to inform about air pollution problems and the worth of fresh air. The Belleville Park has also nice flowers bed, an open-air theatre, ping pong tables and a children playground.

CHURCH NOTRE-DAME-DE-LA-CROIX DE MÉNILMONTANT


This church in neo-roman style has been built between 1863 and 1880 by the architect Louis-Antoine Héret to replace the old chapel which has became too small for the parish. The church has been used for political meetings during the Paris Comune (the killing of the archbishop Darboy has been decided here). The church has a 58 meter-high bell tower and a notable monumental stairway.

PAVILLON CARRÉ DE BAUDOIN


The Pavillon Carré de Baudoin is a building from the 18th century in the style of an Italian villa. Nicolas Carré de Baudouin, one of its first owners used it as a “follie”, a place dedicated to parties and fun. Later the house was purchased by the Goncourt family. 1836 became the house a religious orphanage. The Pavillon has been bought 2003 by the city of Paris and renovated. Since 2007 is the Pavillon open to the public and dedicated to art and culture with an auditorium and exhibitions rooms.