Visiting Paris’s largest cemeteries on a romantic Parisian break may seem slightly morbid to most people, but as a Doors fan in my younger years, I jumped at the chance to pay my respects to the legend himself Jim Morrison.
Pere Lachaise was established in 1804 and covers a massive 44 hectares. Alongside it’s spectacularly Gothic crypts, Haussmanian burial chambers and ancient mausoleums also lies the resting place of Oscar Wilde, Chopin and the eccentric and incredible, Edith Piaf. The cemetery itself is still up and running today.
I have to admit I was concerned about how respectful it really is to be taking photos in a cemetery, but as this is one of the most visited cemeteries in the world I had no concerns as the place was quiet literally flooded with tourists.
There are multiple entrances but we got off the underground at Pere Lachaise and then it was just across the road. There are multiple entrances with maps of the main historical points of interest.
The cemetery is literally like a maze and it took us a long, confusing walk before we found Jim Morrisons grave. Unfortunately, due to past vandalism and fans removing the iconic bust on top of his grave, it is now completely surrounded by metal railings.
The grave itself is nestled behind others and it was nice to see so many other people there with flowers still paying their respects nearly 45 years after his death. A rather poignant piece was a copy of his red and white beads draped across the top.
I found the whole experience serenely beautiful, and would definitely recommend it. The architecture is incredible and in all honesty, I felt it was strangely comforting that this place is not forgotten about with the bustle of tourists and locals bringing life to the place.
I left feeling a lot more comfortable than when I first arrived and passed by another pair of Jim Morrison fans in their 40s carrying white roses on my way out. It seems Jim STILL has a hypnotic hold on people after all these years : )