We commemmorate our dear departed today so let’s take a trip to the tombs and shrines of Paris.
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Catacombs of Paris
Here are some very interesting facts about the catacombs of Paris:
– The portion of the catacombs open to the public is only a small part of an extensive network of underground tunnels, which spans more than 300km (about 186 miles) in length.
– Secret entrances do exist throughout Paris and it is possible to enter the catacombs via the sewers, metro, and certain manholes.
– Some unofficial visitors also hold keys to certain official entrances. On rare occasions people do make use of these access points and illegally enter the catacombs — for example, to meet clandestinely, to hold unusual parties, or simply as urban explorers. (Specifically, those who have an affinity for exploring the catacombs are known as cataphiles.)
– In September 2004, an underground movie theater run by the Mexican Perforation — a French artistic movement that seeks to convey their ideas using underground places — was discovered by the French police.
Posing next to tombs
While sightseeing at the Pére Lachaise cemetery two years ago, I saw with my own two eyes two ladies in their early twenties photographing each other, posing like models next to, on top of or sitting on a tomb or sepulcher. If not for the spooky background, you would think their purpose in doing so was to produce stock photos for a magazine selling tombs or sepulchers.
Either they both have a necrophiliac tendency or they are really into the business of advertising cemeteries to distribute to Homes for the Aged or Care Homes.
Well, before I criticize others, I should start asking myself why the fascination in visiting two cemeteries and catacombs in Paris. But maybe I am just a natural lover of the arts in all its forms (like tomb architecture or bone arrangement).
The Shrine of Princess Diana
The Flame of Liberty is a monument offered by the United States to France in 1989 in gratitude for the restauration of the Statue of Liberty in New York. This memorial is a reproduction of the torch held by the statue which was created by Bartholdi, French architect and sculptor.
Today, it serves as a temporary shrine for Princess Diana who died of car crash on the tunnel below it (Pont de l’Alma).