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The First Grave of René Descartes

As a Catholic residing in a mostly Lutheran country, when René Descartes passed away in Sweden, it was difficult to find a place to bury him. 

Originally, his remains were interred at St. Olof’s Chapel, a small wooden church far from the city’s center. After 16 years, Descartes’s remains were retrieved by French government officials and taken back to France. There, his remains received a proper blessing and Catholic burial at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.


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