Passy Cemetery

I have already made a number of posts about Paris cemeteries, the larger ones like Père Lachaise, Montparnasse, Montmartre, but also some of the smaller ones like Batignolles, Calvaire, Charonne and Picpus. Today we will visit another one, Passy.

The Passy Cemetery neighbours Trocadéro, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. It’s not one of the bigger ones in Paris, but it has some fine funerary sculptures and tombs and it’s the resting place for some interesting personalities. (During my recent visit the weather was a mix of rain, clouds and small sun glimpses – I had some problems to take decent photos.) Among the tombs you can find those of painters like Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot; composers like Claude Debussy, Gabriel Faure; writers like Tristan Bernard, Jean Giraudoux, Maurice Genevoix, Lucie Faure, Octave Mirbeau; fashion designers like Jean Patou; statesmen like Georges Mandel, Edgar Faure; industrialists like Marcel Renault, Francis Bouygues, Marcel Dassault; actors like Fernandel (“Don Camillo”), Pearl White... Other tombs are those of Leila Pahlavi (daughter of the last shah of Iran – see all the flowers), Emmanuel de las Cases (“secretary” to Napoleon at St. Helena) and Bao Dai (last emperor of Vietnam).

The place has a concentration of tombs of aviation pioneers: Henry Farman (the first person to fly 1 km), Dieudonné Costes and Maurice Bellonte (both with several long distance records and the first to fly westbound Paris – New York in 1930). You can also find the grave of the chief stewardess on the Concorde that crashed after takeoff at the Charles de Gaulle airport in 2000, Huguette le Gouadec. The most astonishing monument is probably the mausoleum of Marie Bashkirtseff, a painter and sculptor, born in Ukraine and who died young, by tuberculosis, at the age of 25 in 1884. She has also become famous for her very complete diary and for letters she exchanged with important personalities, e.g. Guy de Maupassant. A lot of what she produced was destroyed during WW II bombings, but you can see some of her paintings here – exhibited in some of the most illustrious museums worldwide - including her self-portrait. As you can see below, her monument contains actually a full sized studio and one of her last paintings can be seen on the wall (she is buried downstairs). I would recommend that you try to learn something more about her, if you don't already know her!

You can find some of these pictures on my photo-blog.
I expect to be back with a new post on Friday.


catied said...

Such great photos - thank you! The pictures of the sculptures framed with the Eiffel Tower are wonderful. Also I love the way you interspersed pictures of "life" (flowers, bee) with the monuments. I just finished my summer class on the French Impressionists so I forwarded your blog site to my prof who will enjoy this post too!

Shionge said...

It is amazing that after such a long time that people still remembers the history, very often with all the changes in Singapore, we have loose our heritage :(

Great post Peter, I love it.

SusuPetal said...

An amazing tomb!

I like photos with a hint of rain, fog or mist.
But it's of course nicer to walk in sunshine.

hpy said...

What Susu sais is so right. Sunshine is nice for walking (unless it's too hot), rain, fog and mist make nice pictures.
But I'm not a fan of cemeteries.

Olivier said...

si on m'avait demande, j'aurais mis la tombe du grand Fernandel à Marseille. J'aime beaucoup ta note poétique, avec cette abeille dans ton montage des tombes. Comme on dit, ils ont une belle vue.
Je sais pas si tu connais Kelly (DP Geneva) c'est une américaine qui vit a Geneva, et en ce moment c'est la fête de la suède dans sa ville.

Olivier said...

ah oui, bonne chance pour se soir, cela va pas être facile contre les Russes.

claude said...

Ils sont quand même beaux les cimetières de Paris et que d'occupants célèbres !Ce n'est pas gaie un cimetière mais tu sais bien nous rendre leur visite "agréable".

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

hey peter,
as said before i do not like cemeteries but you potography makes me looking at them with an other eye...

i like the exibitions photo from below better,

thanks 4 you comments i posted some last news on my blog about 'a woman' perhaps me... joann

Anonymous said...

Your photography choices are always amazing. I must applaud your work. It is Nice.

I have always wondered why people prefer being buried together in one small place with markers above them because it makes it so easy for the devil to find them. It would make a lot more sense if we all were buried in secret places so not even the devil cold find us.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Anonymous said...

Not sure what to think about Abraham's comment about the devil finding us LOL but my first reaction to this post was 'oh,no ! Not another cemetary, and under the rain to make things worse !'
but then I read about Marie Bashkirtseff and thought that once again you have showed us that cemetaries are fascinating places. Well done Peter!

Maxime said...

C'est étrange comme la mort réunit des gens dont on aurait pu penser qu'ils n'avaient rien en commun...

Noushy Syah said...

ERRRR..another yet amazing cemeteries:)although I'm not fond on it.

Enjoy the Sweden's match tonite! Look up, not down...they are pretty impressived in the last 2 games.

So sorry for France...everything seems not right from the very beginning....one after another.

Azer Mantessa said...

the first picture is fantastic - coffin like cemetaries with marvellous marble.

the mausoleum reminds me of montreal's cemeteries areas. montreal is french-speaking city and where i studied. during summertime, my friends and i love to just picnic at the cemetery.

yep, the mausoleums somehow have the same architecture style. very nice.

Anonymous said...

les cimetières me dépriment... c'est vrai. Toutes ces tombes. Il y a des gens qui aiment bien se balader dans les cimetières, il paraît que c'est reposant. Ben ouais, les morts ils sont morts et ils ne causent plus. J'aime bien ta première photo. Il faut arrêter de se plaindre de la luminosité. Ta première photo est très réussie et rend à merveille... l'ambiance d'un cimetière.
Par contre je ne connais pas la madame Marie Bashkirtseff. Elle est morte jeune. Je vais me renseigner sur cette dame. Les autres dont tu parles, je les connais tous personnellement. Oui moi, monsieur j'ai des relations. :-)) Bon, bon je vais retourner à mes moutons. C'est pas tout mais il faut travailler.

Jessica said...

You were busy while I was away! I am especially impressed with the art of Paloma and her classmates that you posted earlier. Children are amazing when we aren't dampering their creativity!

I also love your cemetery posts. That stained glass window is pretty. Interesting place to put it, too.

Mona said...

I had no Idea that even a cementary could look so beautiful!

Even if it is a cementary of the rich & the famous!

Peter, I know your blog is different, But I have still tagged you to do a meme & I would Love to read your answers.

alice said...

Sous la pluie... Heureusement que tu as encore fait de belles découvertes pour alléger l'ambiance!

lyliane six said...

Tes cimetières sont plein de "vies exaltantes"Pour chaque tombe on peut remonter le temps et raconter leur histoire.
C'est un cimetière pour les amoureux de Paris (comme toi) avec une vue pareille.

PeterParis said...

Thanks for these nice comments! I'm still curious about who you are etc... and understand tat you are not (yet) a blogger. Please feel welcome to give some news, if yo feel like it, via my email address which is in my "profile".

Of course in France and Paris history is important. Soon we will be just be a tourist place with historic landmarks!

I was a bit wet when I entered! Had no rainclothes!

PeterParis said...

I'm not a fan of cemeteries either, when it comes to the personal part of it (ashes in the wind would be fine for me)! But there is a certain atmosphere in these old ones. Anyhow I think I have soone made all of the Paris ones (there are a few small ones left)!

Oui, j'au essayé de mettre une petite touche avec Marie B!

Merci pour l'abeille (sur la tombe de Jean Drucker)!
J'ai mainteant visité le Geneva blog; ce n'était pas le Geneva que je m'attendai ... Et pour la fête: Ce n'est pas la fête des suédois: 0-2!

PeterParis said...

I can understand your feelings! Nice to see you around despite your temporary handicap; one hand typing etc. !

Do you think you could cheat the devil that easily? :-)

To learn a bit more about Marie B was a pleasant surprise for me also!

PeterParis said...

Oui, mais il y a aussi des gens qui se retrouvent, comme les deux co-pilotes Paris-New York!

Now you can kindly feel sorry for Sweden also!

So you learnt French in Montreal?

PeterParis said...

Je suis content de voir que tu vas t'interesser à Marie B, je pense que ça vaut la peine!
Je vois que tu as des relations!

I undertand your interest in the children art, exactly what you are specialising in!

Yes, espeically this one is a place for the rich and famous; it's in a "snobby" part of Paris (where I used to live, I must admit).
So you tagged me! You will get the answers, but maybe by direct mail! It was interesting to read your answers to the questions!

PeterParis said...

Oui, un peu de pluie, un peu de soleil... et encore la pluie! Je suis rentré (sur mon Solex) trempé!

Beaucoup de tombes des gens célèbres, mais les histoires des anonymes peuvent aussi être intéressantes!

Anonymous said...

You have the capability to turn a cemetery into a beautiful place !!

The 1st thing I noticed was the Eiffel tower in background.

Marie-Noyale said...

I think the overcast weather suits perfectly the theme...
The fog presence on the first picture adds a little mystery...unless it's the devil moving around with his foggy cape!!!

Olivier said...

il ne nous restera le match amical du 20 aout Suede-France pour nous consoler ;o). Au moins les joueurs des deux equipes vont pouvoir prendre des vacances ;o)

Alain said...

Tu ne nous dit pas à qui appartient l'oiseau de métal doré de ta première photo.
Leur point commun, à ces morts, c'est peut etre d'avoir eu les moyens d'habiter Passy.
C'est bizarre de se faire enterrer sous son pseudonyme. C'est un peu continuer à jouer la comédie après sa mort.

EMNM said...

To be dead is sad, but much more be dead and can´t see that beautiful view of Eiffel Tower

Cergie said...

Je me fais eng****er par Hpy alors je vais pas me fatiguer, je dirai juste en réponse à Alain que j'ai eu un peu de mal à trouver Vercors au cimetière du Montparnasse car il était enterré sous son vrai nom.
Les pseudos c'est juste pour les pseudos.
Les vrais, ils sont des vrais humains.

Cergie said...

Et nous, sommes nous des vrais humains ceux qui avons des pseudos ?

Ash said...

Great photos. I agree with Cuckoo. You can turn a cemetry into a beautiful place :-)

Mona said...

Oh Its perfectly all right Peter. I understand why you would not want to do the meme here. I'll be waiting for your mail. Please take your time! :)

PeterParis said...

I didn't see an devil around!

On avait l'impression qu'ils étaient déjà en vacances!

Le nom sur la tombe de l'oiseau ne me disait rien. Le vrai nom de Fernandel est aussi sur sa tombe.

PeterParis said...

Better have a look before you die!

Cergie, Marguerite... que des pseudos!

You are also quite gifted to make thngs look beautiful!

PeterParis said...

I will have a try this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that there is one, too, so near to Trocadéro and with wo many famous people. Next time in Paris I'll go there to see that modern golden bird that is in two of your photos.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is no end to cemeteries in Paris with famous people buried in them. It seems everyone ends up there!

Anonymous said...


Where is the photo of Berthe Morisot's tomb?

She, along with the Amercan heiress, Mary Cassatt were the only women founders of Impressionism.

Lovely post!
Lovely photos!

Mil gracias.