The Letters of Abelard and Heloise


Heloise's place of burial is uncertain. Abelard's bones were moved to the Oratory of the Paraclete after his death, and after Heloise's death in 1163 her bones were placed alongside his. The bones of the pair were moved more than once afterwards, but they were preserved even through the vicissitudes of the French Revolution, and now are presumed to lie in the well-known tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery in eastern Paris. The transfer of their remains there in 1817 is considered to have considerably contributed to the popularity of that cemetery, at the time still far outside the built-up area of Paris. By tradition, lovers or lovelorn singles leave letters at the crypt, in tribute to the couple or in hope of finding true love.

This remains, however, disputed. The Oratory of the Paraclete claims Abélard and Héloïse are buried there and that what exists in Père-Lachaise is merely a monument[29] or cenotaph. Others believe that while Abelard is buried in the tomb at Père-Lachaise, Heloïse's remains are elsewhere.

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