Jim Morrison died when I was still quite young in 1971 but as I grew up I came to love the music of the Doors so I had always wanted to go to
Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris and visit his grave. We had heard stories about the parties that took place and the offerings that were left on his gravestone so we really wanted to go and see for ourselves. Despite having spent time in Paris at the start of the 1980s it wasn’t until 1991 that we finally managed to get there. We had been on holiday in the South of France and on the way back we had planned to go to Carnac to visit the standing stones there but our car broke down (twice) so we ended up having to abort the journey and check into a hotel on the motorway overnight. With ages to go before our ferry we decided to head into Paris and visit the cemetery.
Back in the days before SatNavs we somehow managed to find our way to the correct part of Paris and after a short time driving round found somewhere to park. Amazingly most of the time we were going to be there was free parking and it only cost us a few Francs to park. We walked down to the cemetery and bought a map to help find our way around!
There are many famous people buried in Père Lachaise such as Rossini, Chopin, Marcel Proust and Oscar Wilde whose gravestone is shown below:
Also it isn’t just Jim Morrison’s grave that has a party going on as there was an even more lively party at the grave of Edith Piaf! One of the things I enjoyed seeing the most was the wall where the last of the Communards were executed in the Paris Commune of 1871 – the Mur des Fédérés
But still it was Jim Morrison’s grave that we had come to see and when we eventually found it we were quite surprised as it was hidden away behind other gravestones not out in the open a s I suppose we had imagined, There were quite a number of people sitting around the grave so it was difficult to get too close and the mood was a lot more sombre than I had imagined too!
We joined the crowd and I managed to find spaces I could squeeze in to in order to get photographs.
In many ways I guess it was a bit of an anticlimax but I’m glad we went when we did because since then a lot of the graves have been cordoned off due to complaints from the relatives of nearby tombs – naturally Jim Morrison’s is one of them.
I’m glad we went to the cemetery but I think that maybe one day I would love to go back and spend more time exploring the wonderful memorials that fill the park. I think, obviously, I would still go and visit Jim’s grave again