Welcome to Part II of the Chairfather, where we’ll cover the space of 15 football fields seeking out 20 personalities. Of the three walks, this one is the most challenging to follow, so please pay close attention to directions.
We will visit the final resting places of luminaries Camille Corot, Jean de La Fontaine, Molière, Antoine Parmentier, Joseph Léopold Sigisbert Hugo, Jean Anthelme Brillat de Savarin, the Tissandier family, Elizaveta Démidoff-Strogonoff, Georges Rodenbach, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Jim Morrison, Héloïse and Abélard, Camille Pissarro, Michel Petrucciani, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Chabrol, Marcel Marceau, and Théodore Géricault.
We will explore separation: diverging from tradition, rifts in the relationships of fathers and sons, slicing through the sky, cutting through continents, lovers forcibly pulled apart, breakthrough bold musical compositions and silence as a means of communication.
In addition to visiting close to two dozen well-known personalities, we will pass by sites unique to Père Lachaise, including sculptures, obelisks and the Chapel in the middle of the park.
If you just completed the first walk of the Chairfather tours, meet me at the Southwest corner of the Columbarium.
If you are arriving from outside the walls of the park, from the Gambetta Métro station, take exit 3, called ‘PÈRE LACHAISE.’ At the top of the escalator, take a left down AVENUE DU PÈRE LACHAISE. The main entrance is at 56 Rue des Rondeaux.
After passing the gate, continue straight. Looking up to the left, you will see the gold dome of the Columbarium, which is surrounded by walls. Go to the Southwest corner of the Columbarium, which is at the intersection of Avenue Transversal #2 and Avenue Aguado.
Places to stop along the way:
Père Lachaise is a gigantic walled park, with really only three practical entrances and exits. There's no food nor drink inside, so BYOB especially a water bottle. Also, only two toilets, so plan accordingly ;-)
Before or after, you may want to visit the funky Belleville bistrots in the 20th arrondissement. The three closest are at Place Martin Nadaud. A bit farther from the main entrance are two places I can recommend, Leslie Road for British fare (8 Rue du Cambodge) and Shingané for Korean BBQ (63 Avenue Gambetta). Exiting the opposite side at the little door in the Northwest corner, near the Père Lachaise métro station, there are a number of good sit-down French establishments starting at the 40s block of the Boulevard de Ménilmontant and walking North.
Best time to walk:
Any time is good, but you'll want to start before 4pm so the visit isn't rushed.
Comfortable flat-soled shoes are a necessity. High heels might break off on the cobblestone paths, and some of the terrain may be dirt or moist earth. While we have fun with our hosts, let's remain respectful by not stepping on graves, in-between is OK, and if you see a group of mourners, please pass by quietly.
To honor our hosts on Tour 2, you may choose to bring with you a bouquet of chrysanthemums, one stone, a ruler, a balloon, three paintbrushes, three pencils, three sheets of music, a mirror, a fork, a knife and a potato.
The companion photo book, also called The Chairfather, includes pictures of all of these sites. You may wish to pick it up to help identify our hosts among similar looking tombs.
Sound credits: voices: Joe Start, Manon Kennedy; effects: freesfx.co.uk
Music: musopen.org and freemusicarchive.org including
Gavotte - Burmester arr. performed by Thrax
Le bourgeois gentilhomme (Suite) - II. Gravement performed by Advent Chamber Orchestra
Hard XxX Ultra Yaoi Psychedelic performed by Monplaisir
Nocturne in B flat minor, Op. 9 no. 1 performed by Olga Gurevich
Sonata no. 2 in B flat minor 'Funeral march' - III. Marche Funebre, Lento performed by Andreas Xenopoulos
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