This is slightly outside Paris, but very close. We are in the suburb of Levallois (or Levallois-Perret). As we know, Paris has a very limited surface and the immediate suburbs, like this one, are somehow integrated. Levallois was created during the 19th century. It got its name from who can be considered as its creator, Eugène Levallois, whose tomb can be found at the local cemetery.
Visiting the cemetery, you can find the tombs of some illustrious people, who for different reasons have found their last rest place here.
One is Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). His tomb, a family grave, has the particularity that it it’s not in line with the surrounding ones; it’s facing what makes us remember him best, the Eiffel Tower (see previous posts). Although he finished his life at his home in Paris, his workshop, where e.g. the different parts of the Tower were manufactured, was situated at Levallois; it has now disappeared. The number of parts for bridges, towers… that his company built must have been amazing. This included also the inner structure of the Statue of Liberty. (In a previous post I showed where the Statue was put together.)
Maurice Ravel (1875-132) is buried here, together with his parents and brother. He spent quite some time in Levallois, where his brother had his home. Let’s listen to and watch (the last part of) “Boléro” (choreography Maurice Béjart), which he wrote rather late in his life on the request of the dancer Ida Rubinstein. Ravel wrote a lot or remarkable pieces and considered “Boléro” to be more or less a joke, 15 minutes of repetition, but it brought him (rather his heirs) a fortune - for the moment some 50 million € (68 million US$).
Louise Michel (1830-1905) was a school teacher and medical worker, but is especially known as a leading anarchist, known as the “Red Virgin of Montmartre”, active during the Paris Commune. She was deported to New Caledonia. She came back nine years later, never gave up her revolutionary ideas, manifested in many ways, always surveyed by the Police. She wanted to share her grave with her mother.
Levallois played an important role during the beginning of the motor driven taxis. One important company created in 1905, still active under the name of “G7”, was “La Compagnie Française des Automobiles de Place », created by Napoleon’s grandson (from his relation with Marie Walewska), André Walewski. Their Renaults became famous in the beginning of WWI, when hundreds of taxis brought thousands of soldiers to the front. The Levallois Cemetery includes tombs and monuments dedicated to fallen taxi drivers.
There are also some 30 Commonwealth WWI graves. The reason why they are here is the Hertford British Hospital (now l'Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique), situated at Levallois and originally created thanks to a donation by Richard Wallace, especially known for the “Wallace Fountains” (see previous posts).
(I'm still in Sweden. This post is pre-programmed. Normally I should be back in time to wish you Merry Christmas!)