The topic for the premier edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is “exceptional finds” – share those rare and unique cemeteries, gravestones, monuments, memorials, and inscriptions.
I am one of those genealogists that likes to explore old cemeteries even while I am on vacation. When I visited Paris, France in 2007, Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) was on the list of sights to see along with the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. I would consider it an exceptional find for several reasons. First, you will see many graves that are 200 years old – for Europe, where grave recycling is the norm, so it was refreshing to see “old” graves. Many think it is exceptional because of its size – 118 acres – or because so many famous celebrities are buried there. What was more fascinating to me were the larger number of non-celebrities, everyday folks like you and me, that are laid to rest beside the rich and famous – truly a reminder that we are all equal in death. As I walked around the cemetery, I was also struck by its universality. Although it is a Parisian cemetery, its occupants’ names spanned the globe. In addition to French surnames, I saw American, Polish, German, and many other nationalities.
Here’s a look at some of the unique gravestones and monuments I photographed (click on thumbnail to see a larger view):
For more information about Père Lachaise, visit the following sites:
- Père Lachaise Wikipedia entry – more photos and a list of the more famous “residents”
- A Brief History of Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
- The cemetery’s own site – take a virtual tour
[Written for the 1st Edition of The Graveyard Rabbits Carnival: Exceptional Finds.]