On December 19th 2011 French singer and icon Edith Piaf would have turned 96 years. It goes almost unsaid that the French capital was her stage and her life where she is also put to rest at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Throughout her life she lived in various Paris apartments from shabby to absolutely luxurious. For any visitor of Paris it is interesting to discover the City of Light through the life of this woman with the unmistakable voice.
72 Rue de Belleville is the place where she was born. In about 15 minutes walking distance you will find the Edith Piaf Museum (5 Rue Crespin du Gast). At the museum you can find many of her personal belongings, clothing, awards, letters and much more. After she grew up at the brothel of her grandmother where prostitutes helped to raise her, she joined her father as street artist. That is also when she began to sing in public. When she separated from her father her career began in Pigalle, a notorious part of Paris.
On Boulevard Poissoniere is where the ABC Theater used to be. This is where the public caught the attention of Piaf for the first time. From that point on things looked brighter for the young singer and she started performing in high-end establishments like the Olympia, a concert venue on Boulevard des Capucines or the Salle Pleyel in Rue Fauborg Saint Honore. In February 1935 she reached one of the highlights of her career performing at Gerny’s one of the most prestigious cabarets of the time located on Champs Elysees.
On Septembre 25, 1962 is when she performed her last concert at the Eiffel Tower. Another place where she frequently sang was La Coupole. The brasserie is a true Parisian institution not only for Piaf, but also because of the fact that personalities such as Ernest Hemmingway came here for lunch. It is the essence of the glory days in Montparnasse when the intellectual and artistic elite lived here.
Lastly, her final resting-place Pere Lachaise Cemetery remains to visit, the biggest and oldest cemetery in Paris. Other great public figures such as Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are put to rest. When staying in apartments in Paris, don’t miss the “La Vie en rose” experience and find out more about the life of one of the biggest French icons.