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“Couldn't go to Paris and not visit General Lafayette”

Pictus Cemetery (Cimetiere de Picpus)
Ranked #302 of 1,099 things to do in Paris
Attraction details
Bronx, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Couldn't go to Paris and not visit General Lafayette”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

I am so glad I did this!

It's a little difficult to find someone who knows where it is, so take Le Metro to the Picpus stop (east side of Paris) and you will be at a traffic circle when you emerge. In the direction in which you emerge, walk straight across the circle, on the wide residential (apartment buildings) road till it stops at another road. Make a left. Walk to the church on the left, go slightly past that (not the correct church for this purpose), and there is a small doorway on the left and inside of that you can see another church with the blue doors in some pictures here). You pay the nice man with the German shepherd, he gives you a map, and you go in.

It's very well kept, dignified, and a real treasure to find. I am so thankful to this man for what he did for America. And I'm grateful to the Daughters of the American Revolution for helping to maintain the site. On July 4th every year (hence me looking this up since today is July 4th), there is a ceremony where they change the flag. Both counties participate.

I walked for a long ways to find flowers and when I proudly announced to the woman behind the counter that these (red, white, and blue) flowers are for General Lafayette, she said in perfect nonchalant English but with a French sensibility, "I know." I'm guessing other people visit there but it was a very funny moment.

I found the French to be wonderful and hospitable people. It really made the trip what it was; fantastic. Paris is a magnificent city.

Visited June 2012
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8 Thank dellbabe68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Florham Park, New Jersey
Level Contributor
289 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“American history with a French history bonus”
Reviewed April 29, 2012

I never would have known about this gem were it not for my French seatmate on my flight to Paris. We somehow got on the subject of Lafayette (little known fact: the NYC parade honoring Lafayette is to this day the largest parade in NYC history) and after checking into my hotel, this was the first place I went. The "bonus" was the French history involving the guillotine. In the chapel is the list of all the victims, including occupation. So as to not be repetitive, please read the other reviews (which I wish I had before I went) - especially the one that helps you find the cemetery! Also, please note that it does not open until 14:00.

Visited April 2012
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5 Thank GPBucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Picpus Cemetery - Lafayette's Tomb”
Reviewed April 9, 2012

It is a very interesting historical sidetrip from the normal Paris sites to visit Picpus Cemetery, containing the Marquis de Lafayette's tomb and mass graves of victims of the French Revolutions's guillotine.

To get to the cemetery take the Metro (or RER) to either the Nation or Picpus stops. The neighborhood maps at the Metro stations will show where the cemetery is located (note that access to the cemetery is off Rue de Picpus, rather than Boulevard de Picpus.) You enter through a gate in the wall along the sidewalk (across from an auto dealer/service shop) and then pay the groundskeeper a couple of Euros. He gives you a sheet of paper with a simple diagram and explanation of the grounds.

You then walk back through the courtyard and go through another gate (adjacent to the chapel) to the garden and then through the garden to the cemetery. Lafayette's grave is in the back of the cemetery adjacent to the walled off area that contains the two mass graves from victims of the French Revolution's guillotine. The chapel contains large memorial plaques listing over 1400 victims of the guillotine.

Very interesting site connecting to French and Ameican history. The cemetery is open only in the afternoons and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Visited March 2012
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16 Thank mctraveler030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Closed on Sundays”
Reviewed November 27, 2011

My husband is a Revolutionary War buff and so we organized to visit Gen La Fayette's grave in Picpus. It was an adventure just to find it. With my broken French and passerbys broken English we finally worked out that the cemetary was behind a large red door that led into a quaint courtyard surrounded by small villas. There was an old, humble church at 12 o'clock from the front entry. The gate to the cemetary was locked a caretaker told us the cemetary was closed on Sundays. So we peaked through the gate and saw part of what looked like a pretty back garden where the cemetary was. We were sad not visit La Fayette's grave and pay our respects, but we enjoyed the adventure of finding the cemetary, which is a private cemetary.

Visited November 2011
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7 Thank Marina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Picpus[ignore above spelling so you can find it!]”
Reviewed December 3, 2010

A must see for any American that appreciates how much our history is shared with France. It was extremely moving to see a plaque declaring the Marquis de Lafayette "friend to George Washington." I read that dirt from the battlefields he fought on in the colonies was brought over to bury him with. This was one of many examples of how the French pay tribute and show respect for those who positively affected history. To pay one's respects to the 19 yr old Marquis who left his comfortable life to aid our revolution, side by side with victims of his own country's very different revolution leaves you with a very strong emotional connection to Paris.

Helpful?
8 Thank vixiela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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