Monday, April 06, 2009

Square du Pere Lachaise

Some time back I came across an old postcard of Paris, a photograph of place called "Square du Pere Lachaise." It focused on a statue of an elderly couple entitled "Les Declin," I believe. The square is long gone as is the statue (sadly), but I often wondered where it was located. The perspective of the photograph provided few clues.

I found my answer through the sheerest of coincidences.

My wife and I had gotten turned around coming out of the no. 9 Metro at the Grand Boulevards stop and we ended up in, of all places, the Passages Jouffroy. After strolling through this incredible space we came across a vendor of old postcards. I have in recent years fallen into the habit of browsing such things looking for the odd postcard of Paris cemeteries. Well, this place was very well-organized -- they seemed to have everything arranged in binders which they would pull out of a huge bookcase -- and after browsing for a minutes I found what I was looking for. (photo: Marthe Swincinska, in division 95.)

Square Pere Lachaise -- not one but two different perspectives, in fact, one of which incorporated the statue! It is fairly clear now that the Square was located where the Jardin du Samuel Champlain is today, that is along Avenue Gambetta just up from the Pere Lachaise Metro stop.

I hope to scan in the cards after I return to the US next month.

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