A Tragic Love Story: Heloise and Abelard, Père Lachaise, Paris

As tragic as their story was, Heloise and Abelard’s is one of my favorites. In my previous post, I’ve mentioned that somehow, even when tombs have been erected, the city of Paris still shouts love and romance. This is where Père Lachaise comes in, as it is currently the home of Heloise and Abelard.

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Abelard was once one of the most distinguished scholars of his time. At the peak of his career, he met Heloise, a remarkable and brilliant woman who clearly had made a huge impression on him. He was 20 years her senior, but in spite of the age difference, Abelard found his match in her.

Eventually, Abelard found a way to live under the same roof as Heloise by convincing her uncle, and in return, he would be her tutor. From then on, they embarked on a relationship that was forbidden until she got pregnant. Although Heloise opposed the idea, they wed in secret to be under the good graces of her uncle and to protect Abelard’s reputation. In the end, her uncle deceived them them both and spread the news. To protect Heloise, Abelard sent her to a convent where she would eventually spend the rest of her life in. With her uncle’s belief that Abelard did this to get rid of her, men were sent to punish Abelard and castrated him.

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Perhaps, Abelard was so ashamed of his punishment that he decided to become a monk in a monastery while convincing Heloise to take the vows to become a nun.

They wrote love letters to each other over the years and had only met once in a service later on. As fate had it, they never met again in the rest of their lifetime. Perhaps, they have reconciled after death. They are survived by the love letters they had written for each other.

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To date, hopefuls and hopeless romantics pay a visit to their tombs at Père Lachaise, where thoughts and words of well wishes and prayers from people who knew of their love story overflow.

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5 thoughts on “A Tragic Love Story: Heloise and Abelard, Père Lachaise, Paris

  1. I am pretty sure I have been to this place! Very surreal.

  2. Anisa

    Such a tragic story!

    1. I know 🙁 but I love it still <3 I just hope they've reunited in heaven 🙂

  3. […] One of the places that I really wanted to visit in Paris was the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. The Père-Lachaise itself is a place worth visiting, having a lot of notable dead people (from Edith Piaf to Oscar Wilde to Frederic Chopin) with some of the most elaborate and extravagant tombs that one can imagine. But as eerie, unromantic, and anti-climatic as it may sound, this cemetery is home to the tomb of a couple whose tragic love story perhaps ended in happiness after death. The story of Heloise and Abelard was what actually drew me in. For me, theirs is a story of forbidden love and a decision to turn to God for salvation, one way or another. (Update: You may read my post of their story here.) […]

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