THINGS TO SEE

France - - History Trail -

1 Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris

Home to the tombs of mu­si­cians, artists, writ­ers, com­posers and great thinkers from all dis­ci­plines, Père-Lachaise is the largest of the Parisian mu­nic­i­pal ceme­ter­ies. It cov­ers 44 hectares and con­tains 70,000 burial plots, so you will need a map to find and pay re­spects to your he­roes. Open daily. 16 Rue du Re­pos, 75020 Paris Tel: (Fr) 1 55 25 82 10 paris.fr/cimetieres

2 Cimetière de Pic­pus, Paris

This small and unas­sum­ing ceme­tery con­tains the mass graves of those guil­lotined in the Rev­o­lu­tion, and the land still be­longs to the vic­tims’ heirs, in the form of a foun­da­tion. “The own­ers are part of the no­bil­ity, and de­scen­dants can still be buried here,” says the cu­ra­tor Jean-jac­ques Faugeron. Open ev­ery af­ter­noon ex­cept Sun­days and bank hol­i­days, ad­mis­sion €2. 35 Rue de Pic­pus, 75012 Paris Tel: (Fr) 1 43 44 18 54

3 Cat­a­combes de Paris

Al­though not strictly a ceme­tery, the cat­a­combs do con­tain the re­mains of mil­lions of Parisians, in a labyrinth of tun­nels. The bones were trans­ferred and placed 20 me­tres un­der­ground in these for­mer quar­ries dur­ing the 18th and 19th cen­turies, when grave­yards were closed and moved be­cause of the risk to pub­lic health. Shut Mon­days and some pub­lic hol­i­days, ad­mis­sion €12. I Av­enue du Colonel Rol-tan­guy, 75014 Paris Tel: (Fr) 1 43 22 47 63 cat­a­combes.paris.fr

4 Nor­mandy Amer­i­can Ceme­tery

This mon­u­ment to Amer­i­can troops lost in the D-day land­ings and en­su­ing op­er­a­tions can­not fail to move vis­i­tors with the sim­plic­ity of the vast green lawns and their care­fully aligned, white mar­ble crosses, marked with the names and dates of death of the sol­diers. On Me­mo­rial Day, on the last Mon­day in May, two flags are put in front of each grave. Open daily. 14710 Colleville-sur-mer Tel: (Fr) 2 31 51 62 00 abmc.gov

5 Ger­man Ceme­tery, La Cambe

This ceme­tery of­fers vis­i­tors a chance to re­flect on the way that war af­fects peo­ple on both sides of the bat­tle. The graves of more than 21,000 Ger­man sol­diers are marked by flat tomb­stones and a few gran­ite crosses scat­tered around the wooded ceme­tery. Open daily. Marais du Co­tentin et du Bessin re­gional park 14230 La Cambe Tel: (Fr) 2 31 22 70 76

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