We visited Pere Lachaise Cemetery while in Paris and of course, ignoring all the luminaries that were buried there, we had to head straight to Jim Morrison’s grave.
As we walked through the tree-lined lanes we could see that the cemetery was quite crowded with mausoleums, graves and tiny chapels. There are an incredible one million bodies buried there.
There was a smell of decomposition on the late afternoon breeze. I fervently hoped it was from a dead animal and not something or someone else.
Arrows showing the route to Jim Morrison’s grave were scratched into the sides of mausoleums, so it was easy to find the place. A guard was posted at the gravesite to keep people from displaying disrespectful behavior and doing more damage there.
Pere Lachaise was interesting and kind of unnerving, but it didn’t hold a candle to the weirdness that was the Catacombs of Paris.
The Catacombs are an ossuary that hold the remains of about six million people. It was originally an abandoned stone mine, and bones from cemeteries were stored there starting in the 1780s.
Imagine walking through about a mile of stacked bones positioned into intricate patterns in semi-dark lighting conditions. Little kids had great fun jumping out of shadowy corners to scare people. It was a very spooky experience.
Unfortunately, some of the skulls had been vandalized but it was still an amazing place.
I wouldn’t have missed seeing it but I was SO happy to see daylight again at the end of the tunnel.