Created in the middle of the torment of the Revolution, the Picpus Cemetery is the only private cemetery in Paris which is still in activity. It is composed of an enclosure closed off from the public and an adjoining small cemetery, visible through the metal gate which separates it from the main cemetery. The enclosure holds two mass graves where the bodies of 1,306 people who had been guillotined at Place de la Nation were piled up (previously named Place du Trône, renamed then Place de Trône-Renversé) between 14 June and 27 July 1794. The cemetery is reserved only to the family members of the victims, who repurchased the property in June 1802. Rented out since 1804 to nuns of the Sacré-cœurs de Jésus et de Marie et de l'Adoration Perpétuelle Congregation, the land still belongs to the heirs of the first landholders. In six weeks of activity at la Nation, the guillotine caused more deaths – 1,306 to 1,120 – than during the thirteen months prior, as soon as it was placed at Place de la Révolution (now called Place de la Concorde). The fall of Robespierre, 29 July 1794, brought the executions to a close. Among the 80 guillotined from 14 to 16 June 1794 were the General Alexandre de Beauharnais, the first husband of Joséphine, the 16 Carmelite nuns of Compiègne (who inspired the ‘Dialogue des Carmélites’ of Bernanos) the poet André Chénier, and the general farmer Jean-Joseph de Laborde having participated in financing the American war of independence. Here, you can find the names, coat of arms and mottos of numerous French aristocratic families. Among them is the tomb of La Fayette, where an American flag forever flutters in the wind. It was at the Picpus Cemetery where, on 4 July 1917, Independence Day, Colonal Stanton announced in the presence of Sergeant Joffre “La Fayette, here we are”.