Paris

Autumn in Paris: Montmartre Cemetery


Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

_DSC4132

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Montmartre Cemetery, Paris Photography, Nichole Robertson

Cemeteries by their nature aren’t happy places, but I’m always happy to visit the them in Paris. They’re packed with beautiful sculpture, architecture and a melange of memorabilia ranging from sweet (a thick book stuffed with photos in a plastic, weather-proof case) to strange (a fishbowl).

It rained early this morning, and the cold mist and leaves left no room for debate whether autumn had arrived. I could smell change in the air, and that feeling of no turning back – the end of a season – set the tone for the walk. The entire cemetery seemed to be mourning that loss, shutting down until spring, saying goodbye.

About halfway through, I spotted a large orange cat sitting in a bowl. Most of the resident cats in the cemetery bolt when they see you, but not this guy. He jumped down and followed me around for fifteen minutes. He seemed to be waiting for me to toss him a treat, so it’s clear the neighbors take good care of him.  In fact, all of the cats are giant, indicating either an abundance of rodents or friendly cat lovers nearby.

Another highlight was finding a spiderweb that seemed to be either spun with or held up by a pair of stone hands.

11 Comments

  • I find the kitties wherever I go too. Ironically, I looked up Pere Lachaise last night for my upcoming (next week!) trip
    to France and Paris. Perhaps I’ll visit this one too. Lovely captures.

  • Fabulous images, Nichole, that perfectly capture the wistful atmosphere and poignant beauty of autumn.

    I’ve spent many hours photographing cemeteries and always found them peaceful. Highgate in London is possibly my favorite.

    Love the chestnuts on the pavement – another sure sign of autumn.

  • Thank you for this post, Nichole. The best afternoon we had with our kids this summer when we visited Europe was at the Montmartre Cemetery. How beautiful to see this in autumn. Appreciate your sharing. Safe travels.

  • Hi Nichole,

    I just got back from Paris and visited both Montmartre and Pere Lachaise cemeteries with my daughter. Your photos are hauntingly beautiful. I took dozens at that place. I love cats, have two of my own, and was fascinated with the kitties of Montmartre, worrying who takes care of them, where do they go for shelter when it gets cold, etc. – but, like you, I noticed they all seem well fed and quite at home amongst the graves and statuary. I actually had a chartreux stare me down with its pale green eyes for several minutes from atop a 10-12 ft. high crypt…a bit unnerving. We were there on 10/8 and spent nearly 4 hours at Pere Lachaise the following day. I had hoped it would rain when we visited Jim Morrison’s grave (a la “Riders on the Storm”) and after 2 hours roaming the cemetery and picking up chestnuts, the gray drizzle turned to a downpour as we approached his grave but stopped shortly after we left (how did he know?) Tres atmospheric and I think Jim was definitely there. :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>