Welcome to Part III. Of the three walks, this one is the easiest to follow. It moves rapidly downhill at the start, then for the rest of the way very gradually goes uphill on a slight grade you probably won't notice.
The main theme of this tour is builders, meeting four men who made Paris what it is today. We will visit the final resting places of Jacques-Louis David, Félix Faure, Georges Eugène Haussmann, Gioachino Rossini, Louis Visconti, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, Georges Seurat, Georges Méliès, Georges Bizet, Gustave Caillebotte, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Delacroix, Fulgence Bienvenüe, Marcel Proust, Allan Kardec and some guy called Félix de Beaujour.
In addition to visiting more than a dozen well-known personalities, we will pass by sites unique to Pere Lachaise, including sculptures, obelisks, the tower of Félix de Beaujour the park's tallest monument which is visible from the Eiffel Tower, the Columbarium and the Chapel in the middle of the park.
If you’ve just completed The Chairfather Tour 2, you are already at the starting point, the main intersection at the North West corner of the chapel, where Avenue Feuillant meets Avenue de la Chapelle.
If you’re just now entering the park for this tour, the Gambetta entrance is at 56 Rue des Rondeaux. From the Gambetta Métro station, take exit 3, then turn left down AVENUE DU PÈRE LACHAISE to the entrance. Keep walking straight on the main cobblestone street. Looking up to the left, you will see the gold dome of the Columbarium. Keep walking until the road comes to a ’T’ at Avenue Transversal #1. Make a left here, then the first right on Avenue Feuillant. At the third intersection, where Avenue Feuillant meets Avenue de la Chapelle, our walk begins.
If you choose to enter by the main gate at the 20-block of Boulevard de Ménilmontant, you’ve got some climbing ahead of you to get to the starting point. Enter the main gate on the Avenue Principale, then take an immediate left. Take your first right on Avenue Thirion, which will become Avenue Latérale du N as you ascend. At the end there are a set of four stairs. At the top you will see a lawn with flowers on your right before a chapel. Our walk starts from the main intersection at the North West corner of that chapel, where Avenue Feuillant meets Avenue de la Chapelle.
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. Also, toilets are scarce, 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, Shingané for Korean BBQ (63 Avenue Gambetta), and Leslie Road for British fare (8 Rue du Cambodge). 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.
To honor our hosts on Tour 3, you may choose to bring with you a bouquet of chrysanthemums, two paintbrushes, three pencils, three rulers, a calling card, a balloon, a used paper métro ticket and a madeleine.
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; effects: freesfx.co.uk sound-fishing.net
Music: musopen.org and bensound.com
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.
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