Monday, 16 April 2018

Travel Beyond the Crypt: Montparnasse Cemetery, Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower

On my second day in Paris, I took a trip to Montparnasse Cemetery, but not before stopping off at Angelina's patisserie on Rue du Bac (an amazing street full of highly rated patisseries) to try their famous hot chocolate and a couple of macarons for a light breakfast. I then picked up another pastry from Des Gateaux et du Pain to eat later on before heading to Montparnasse Cemetery.

Staute at the centre of Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

Montparnasse Cemetery was built in 1824 after the Holy Innocent's Cemetery (Cimetiere des Innocents) was closed off due to overuse, which later on had its remains exhumed and transported to what became the Paris Catacombs (which I visited the day before, blog post here). Its address is 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France.

Charles Baudelaire's cenotaph, Montparnasse Cemetery

Montparnasse Cemetery is the burial place of many intellectuals and artists, including Charles Baudelaire (this is his cenotaph above), Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (the latter two are buried together).

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

There are over 40,000 graves in Montparnasse Cemetery. There are so many beautiful burials, mausoleums and statues but here are just a few.

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

A regal, chateau-esque tomb, whoever is buried here (or their family) had taste!

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

I love the colours of these roses left at this tomb combined with the colours of the stone.

Statue of Psyche Revived By Cupid's Kiss, Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

A reproduction of Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, an extraordinarily beautiful statue. How lovely to have it atop a grave, I wonder who commissioned it there and what significance it held? The bushes and flowers around the grave are lovely as well.

Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

A very haunting and beautiful sculpture in the cemetery. I absolutely love the mourning and heartbreak conveyed in it.

  Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris

If you look through the ornate iron door, you can see a stained glass window in the tomb. You couldn't see the stained glass window round the other side of the tomb, it was encased inside the tomb itself - I really appreciated the fact the tombs were created with beauty fully in mind, with the inside being just as beautiful as the outside, and no need to have anyone except the family of the deceased appreciate the beauty inside.

After Montparnasse Cemetery, I decided to head to Trocadero, where you can catch a great view of the Eiffel Tower. On the way, I happened across one of the sights on my "to-visit" list, Galerie Lafayette. It is an upmarket department store, which normally wouldn't be anything spectacular to visit but this one in particular was built in 1912 and is a sight to behold, with a beautiful art nouveau era building and domed roof featuring stained glass.

Galerie Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann

I grabbed a couple of macarons from Pierre Herme in Galerie Lafayette to enjoy at Trocadero.

The Eiffel Tower as seen from Trocadero, Paris

The Eiffel Tower is far prettier illuminated at night rather than during the day.

I had a reservation at Auberge Nicolas Flamel, a restaurant located at one of the houses Nicolas Flamel, the famous alchemist (who was never actually a confirmed alchemist, he was officially a scribe and bookseller), built. It is one of the only houses of  his that is still standing but he technically never lived there; he built it after the death of his wife to accommodate the homeless. It is Paris's oldest restaurant, as the building was built in 1407.

Auberge Nicolas Flamel, Nicolas Flamel's house, Paris

The house/restaurant from the outside. The exposed beam ceiling is still intact but much of the inside has been restored or changed. For the record, the meal was absolutely beautiful and a lovely chance to see inside the house.