The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part I
The Dragon's Tomb
Leave the rightmost Glandaz tomb on your right and the tall tree on your left. Walk forward for 10 meters and that should head you straight for what is known as the Dragon's Tomb. It's a peach-tinted monolith that's about the same height as the average man.
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At first glance, you may be disappointed. There are no dragons here, nor any naked blonde lady emerging from flames. The dragon refers to the name of the mounted regiment that the departed was a member of, during the Napoleonic wars.
Feel free to walk right up to the stone from any angle. You won't step on the coffin, because it's a cenotaph, the deceased isn't there. Admire the detail of the bust of the soldier, his saber to the left and his rifle to the right. In 1807, this was the first sculpture erected in Père Lachaise, a park which now holds more than a thousand. The artist, Godde, also sculpted the towers of the main entrance.
The monument is placed in a dense area of vegetation, surrounded by other headstones to discourage assembly. Bonapartists used to group here by the dozens and remember the good ol' days of the empire.
Carved at the bottom, a mother grieving for her only son. The epitaph reads his last words were 'my poor mother' before succumbing to the bullet which hit him at the head of a line leading the way into enemy territory.
The Dragon's Tomb is the first work of art, in the world's largest open-air museum.
From here go back to the cobblestone road and take five steps to the left.