Visiting Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris
Combining the love of music with travel
Next on the Paris series, I would like to write about my visit in Père Lachaise Cemetery to pay my respects to The Doors frontman, Jim Morrison. I am a huge musicophile of the 60’s era and the sounds of The Doors, with the mystical lyrics of Jim, the haunting keyboard melodies of Ray and the psychedelic guitar sounds of Robby, always fascinate me. Every Jim Morrison fan, knows the story of the last years of his life and consequently his death in Paris. So, upon scheduling my plans on my week in Paris, I decided I should pay a visit to one of the best performers and poets in rock history.
Père Lachaise Cemetery is located a bit far from the city centre, on the east side on the 20th arrodisement. There are several metro stations nearby, so it is easily reached. I decided to start my day at the Bastille Square and then walk towards Rue de la Roquette (about 2 km), since it is my preferable exploration style and I wanted to experience as much as possible from the Parisian aura.
Place de la Bastille.
After a cheerful morning walk, I reached the gates of Père Lachaise Cemetery. In the entrance I found a big navigation map, took a photo (this is very important! Take a photo otherwise you are lost!) and proceeded. I was happy to find out that more important figures were buried here (Frederic Chopin, Eugene Delacroix, Moliere, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and more). While walking inside, the scenery was kind of melancholic, some naked trees and sculptures ahead, with narrow streets leading to different parts of the cemetery. To my surprise, there were a lot of people around, trying to figure out the street numbers – Père Lachaise Cemetery is huge.
The main entrance of Père Lachaise Cemetery.
At first I wanted to visit several burial places, but because of my schedule at that day, I decided I should visit my two favorites Frederic Chopin & Jim Morrison. I tracked down Chopin’s graveyard relatively easily. It was small tomb with a statue on top and lots of flowers.
Frédéric Chopin’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Then, on my quest to visiting Jim Morrison’s grave, I got lost in between narrow majestic graves – a bit spooky but funny. Finally with the assistance of some kind strangers, I managed to find the burial place; all hidden on a small hill on the right side of the cemetery. I found a few people there and by the time I left, there has been a mall crowd. The tomb is protected by railings, but I wanted to have a closer look. Again, with the kind assistance of an American traveler, I jumped over and found myself near the grave. I stood there in silence and awe, bringing lyrics and images of Jim’s music to my head.
“ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ”
To any Doors fans out there, if you find yourself in Paris, don’t skip a visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery, to offer a flower to the beautiful soul of an inspiring being.
Until the next post,
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.