NileGuide Expert Says:
This couple were at the start of Paris’s long history as the city of romance
No 1, Division 7, Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise, enter at 16 rue du Repos
75020 Paris, France
+ 33 (0) 1 55 25 82 10
NileGuide Expert tip:
Search out other famous graves while you're here – from Jim Morrison to Maria Callas to Marcel Proust
The story of the Parisian lovers Abelard and Heloise resonates down the centuries. It features a teacher, Abélard, a 12th-century philosopher, a clever young woman, Héloïse, and a wicked uncle, Fulbert, who wanted Héloïse for himself. After giving birth to Abélard's son, Héloïse escaped from Paris, but Abélard was caught and castrated before he could get away. The only option in that medieval time was for the couple to take holy orders. Separated over the decades, the lovers wote to each other, creating one of the most famous series of love letters in history. Their remains were removed to this join tomb in Père-Lachaise in 1817. Other romantic memorials in the cemetery include the heart-shaped tombstone of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and the memorial to a young journalist, Victor Noir. A legend has grown up that women who rub this will conceive, and a prominent part of his tomb has been worn shiny as a result.