While in Paris a few weeks ago, we made a point to visit the oldest known public cemetery in the world, Cimetiere Des Chiens. As some of you may know…I love graveyards. Whenever we travel we make a point of visiting a local graveyard so I can take pictures and learn more about the history of the places we are visiting. Most people who go to Paris probably visit the much more famous Pere’-Lachaise Cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried, but after reading a recent article in Bark magazine ( and a suggestion from a friend)…I really wanted to visit this one. Two of my favorite things in the world in one place…perfect.
Some people may find graveyards depressing, but personally, I find them facinating. This cemetery sits right on the Seine River and has tons of old world charm. There were some newer, tacky monuments like you see in most graveyards, but there were also older graves with beautiful statuary and tombstones fit for a queen. It warmed my heart to see how so many of these pets had touched their owners lives and spirits. The cemetery’s most famous resident is film star Rin Tin Tin, but the largest monument is for a heroic St. Bernard named Barry who was a famed rescue dog. He rescued 40 people during his life from being trapped in the snow and he died trying to rescue the 41st. That one brought tears to my eyes…
It is hard to explain how I felt being in this cemetery…It was such a beautiful, peaceful place. Stray cats live there and seem to be watching over their fallen friends. I felt sad and at the same time happy to see such a display of love for animals. It was definitely the most moving experience I have had photographing a graveyard.
If you would like to learn more about this cemetery, click here. This article gives a little bit more information and directions to the site.