Pre Lachaise Hlose And Ablard

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

PÈRE LACHAISE - Héloïse and Abèlard

Date: 13th May 2012

After our visit to St. Denis, I very much wanted to go back to Père Lachaise but the rain persisted and a visit was abandoned.

Being an incurable romantic, it was the story of Héloïse and Abèlard which first took me to the cemetery of Pére Lachaise over two decades ago. Peter Abèlard was a philosopher and teacher and lover of Héloïse. She was the niece of Bishop Fulbert who had hoped to place her in an advantageous marriage. However her relationship with Abelard made her soiled goods which he could no longer trade. Héloise bore Abelard a son called Astrolabe and though the couple did marry a terrible revenge was exacted on Abelard.

It isn’t known if it was the work of Fulbert or the family of Héloïse but Abèlard was castrated. After that, and feeling that he was ‘only half a man’ they lived the religious life separately.  They corresponded for the rest of their lives mainly about religious and philosophical subjects.  Abèlard apparently expressed a desire that after his death he should rest eternally with Héloïse and it was only many centuries after their deaths that their remains were brought together to a magnificent tomb in Pére Lachaise although even this is disputed – some saying that the remains of Héloïse are elsewhere. However whether their mortal remains are there or not, the tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers. Railings had to be erected around the monument to preserve it from souvenir hunters. Each time I’ve been to the memorial there have been single red roses and bouquets thrown over the railings by lovers. (Sadly, nothing further is known about their son)

The Tomb of Abélard and Héloïse in the cemetery of Père Lachaise.

PÈRE LACHAISE - Héloïse and Abèlard

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