Monday, January 11, 2016

Saint Gervais Cemetery

One of the upcoming adventures may require a map for a cemetery. And even if it doesn't, a map for a cemetery can always come in handy later. This is a map for the cemetery of Saint Gervais in Paris. You can see the Saint Gervais Church and cemetery in a few of the period maps I have. Here's a few examples.

#1 - In this map, the church is the cruciform building with the cross on top next to the red outlined cemetery. North is more or less to the top of this map.

#2 - In this map (Merian 1615), the cemetery is highlighted in yellow. What appears to be a fountain (probably the Fontaine de l'Apport-Baudoyer) is in the middle of the large street (Rue Saint Antoine) that is to the left of the surrounding buildings, cemetery, and church. The Seine is seen on the upper right portion of the map. North is more or less at the left.

#3 - This is an older map from 1550, but the nice part is that it shows three tombs. I included those on my map. Again we see the Fontaine de l'Apport-Baudoyer to the left of the cemetery. Here it is spelled "LAPORTE BODES" but then spelling in the 16th and early 17th century tends to be a bit creative whether the language is French or English.

#4 - Here is what the front of the church looks like. I believe this is from the early 18th century. You can see the long diagonal building running back and to the left from the church front. Here we are looking more or less to the east.

I couldn't find an actual floor plan for the church, so I had to estimate distances from the various maps. Then I drew a more detailed map to use in play.

Here's the upper level. Two long buildings at the top and on a diagonal on the left are buildings, probably townhouses or shops on the ground floor with apartments above. The large building with the semicircular area at the top is the church itself. Doors are indicated.

Link to Upper Map
Inside the cemetery are three large tombs. One is a rounded, stepped rectangle, one is a large rectangular block with a door on the inside, and the last and largest is a stepped circle. All have crosses on top, some quite ornate. Other graves are marked with crosses indicating a cross or headstone. I'm not too concerned with being exactly historically accurate because I like the idea of the cemetery having cover and hiding places.

I decided to include arches with burial niches on the inside of the buildings. Also I figure the windows that face the cemetery side are at least 15 feet above the ground. This allows room for the burial niches on the ground floor with a nice overhang for the buildings above.

Link to Lower Map
The round black circles on this map show where the arches are located, I figure there are square stone  tablets that close off the niches with something like 3x3 tablets between each arch. Burial space is a problem in Paris so only rich or important people are likely to have space in the cemetery. The most important and richest will have nice tombs or will be buried inside the church itself.

UPDATE: This post talks about the mapping tool I used to create the maps. The tool is "Powerpoint resources for old-school-style adventure mapping" by Roger S.G. Sorolla 2011 CC license:

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