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Monday, January 23, 2012

Pere Lachaise - Porte Oiseaux entrance

This entrance on the northern side of the cemetery, which was closed long ago, opened onto the Square du Pere-Lachaise, now called Square du Champlain (after you-know-who).



Monday, January 16, 2012

Sophie Blanchard's balloon

Madeline-Sophie Blanchard, Madame Blanchard, was not the first woman aviator but she was the first woman to pilot her own balloon. When her husband, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, one of the earliest balloonists, died in 1809, she opted to make a career of ballooning and in fact became a regular barnstormer at fairs and special events around northern France.

She was reportedly most famous for her self-designed basket shaped like a bathtub, as seen inhere in an ascent she made from the Champ de Mars on June 24, 1810:

It was during a performance on July 19, 1819, in the Tivoli Gardens, where the Saint-Lazare train station is now located, that her balloon caught fire and she fell out of the basket onto a nearby roof and broke her neck.


She's buried -- by herself apparently -- in division 13, Pere Lachaise Cemetery. And yes, she's one of my favorites. (Jane Avril in division 19 is another, if you must know.)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Montmartre division 23

Armand Toussaint

La Fortune

Henri Brisson

Gustave Ricard

Chapuis

Marcelle Charron

Cisternes

Mompach

Monday, January 02, 2012

Montmartre division 22

Joseph Samson

Vatislav Nijinsky

Massart

Laure Junot-Abrantes

Alfred Demodeneq

Bruzzesi

Lebrun

Maury

Nourrit

Jacques Toussaint