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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Macabre View of Paris Part Three

I can't help but take advantage of the cemeteries of Paris to add to our macabre collection of Paris sights.  To pass them up would just be wrong--dead wrong.

 We begin at Pere Lachaise, the most popular cemetery in Paris.  I couldn't help but feel deep empathy with this poor fellow, who has obviously been weeping for a great many years.  But seriously, I wonder who would commission such an image for their family crypt?  He might be meant to represent mourning, or something similar, but even without the stains, he mostly looks comical, or at least overly dramatic.

   You might think this was actually a picture taken at Disney World's Haunted Mansion, since he looks much like one of the singing heads from that spooktacular ride.  However, this gentleman sits atop a memorial at Montparnasse Cemetery, not far from the grave site of none other than Charles Baudelaire.

Back at Pere Lachaise, you can find this dramatic and bizarre memorial to the Czechoslovakian soldiers who died in WWI.  The odd image here, of course, is the dying soldier, being held by the mythical warrior and his lady, as they are watched by a figure that could be either Death or simply a refugee from the ghastliness of the Great War.  Considering the carnage this generation had to see and embrace, I think this memorial is a bit restrained.

  And speaking of the ghastliness of war, this memorial is not dedicated to any men who died on the field of battle.  It is, instead, a reminder of the extreme cruelty of which man is capable .  These figures represent those souls who suffered such cruelty at Buchenwald.  Despite the grotesque figures on display, I still think this image shows great restraint in light of the reality of what Buchenwald represents.

And lest we forget what is underneath such elaborate and artistic monuments, let's take advantage of our ability to see what was once buried in the Cemetery of the Innocents before it was emptied to make way for Les Halles, the great Paris Market, and is now piled up in the caverns of the Paris Catacombs.

As they say...Paris is for Lovers.

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