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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday Afternoon with a Prince

Can't believe it's taken me this long to do this but it's one more thing I can tick off the Tallahassee things to do list. I finally went to see the final resting place of Prince Achille Murat (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) and his wife Catherine (great-grandniece to George Washington) at the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery at Call Street and Martin Luther King Avenue.

That's right. Tallahassee's Prince Murat Motel is named after true royalty.

Before heading out for my little adventure, I put on the kitsch and groovy new jewelry I received this week from Sunshine City Lassie (See! I'm wearing it off to the left). You can read the full description about the goodies on my primary blog and if you love it as much as I do, buy something from her!

OK, back to my Saturday afternoon jaunt to the cemetery.

I headed downtown and drove down Call Street. I admit to being navigationally challenged and found my self at the Old City Cemetery, established in 1829 and is the city's oldest public cemetery.

Even better, there was a big map with walking guides available, compliments of the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board and the City of Tallahassee. I grabbed one and wandered through half the cemetery, walking through years of Tallahassee history.

There are even sections where Confederate and Union soldiers are buried. The Union soldiers are believed to be killed at the Battle of Natural Bridge. The Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Natural Bridge and the Battle of Olustee. Some died at nearby hospitals and camps. Interestingly, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans hold services here on Confederate Memorial Day, which is April 26. I may have to check that out. I had no idea there was a Confederate Memorial Day. They just don't teach that up North.

Next stop was the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery, which is basically right across the street, still on MLK.

This cemetery is much smaller and it was fairly easy to find the Murat headstones (pictured on the right). But, I was taken in by the blooming flowers and all the photo opportunities. It was also very peaceful and not creepy at all.

The Murat headstones are worn from the weather and they seem like simple markers for royalty. Maybe that's why there's a motel named after the prince.

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