Cemeteries of Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris (110 acres), and was first opened in 1804 on the site of a former Jesuit retreat .

Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement and is notable for being the first garden cemetery, as well as the first municipal cemetery. It is also the site of three World War I memorials.

Each year, Père Lachaise Cemetery has more than 3.5 million visitors, making it the most visited cemetery in the world. The cemetery contains the tombs of tens of thousands of notable people from history, these include Sarah Bernhardt, Georges Bizet, Sophie Blanchard, Maria Callas, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Isadora Duncan, Molière, Édith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Simone Signoret, Sir Richard Wallace and Oscar Wilde. There are also memorials dedicated to the many thousands of French Jewish people who were taken to the Nazi death camps never to return.

The cemetery is on Boulevard de Ménilmontant. The Paris Métro station Philippe Auguste on line 2 is next to the main entrance, while the station named Père Lachaise, on both lines 2 and 3, is 500 metres away near a side entrance that has been closed to the public. Many tourists prefer the Gambetta station on line 3, as it allows them to enter near the tomb of Oscar Wilde and then walk downhill to visit the rest of the cemetery.

Rue du Repos
Paris 20th

Montparnasse Cemetery

Montparnasse Cemetery is a cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, part of the city’s 14th arrondissement. Montparnasse Cemetery is the resting place of many of France’s intellectual and artistic elite as well as publishers and others who promoted the works of authors and artists. There are also many graves of foreigners who have made France their home, as well as monuments to police and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the city of Paris.

Because of the many notable people buried there, it is a highly popular tourist attraction. Some of these include: Frédéric Bartholdi (sculptor of the Statue of Liberty), Simone de Beauvoir, André Citroën, Henri Fantin-Latour, Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Paul Sartre.

The cemetery is divided by Rue Émile Richard. The small section is usually referred to as the small cemetery (petit cimetière) and the large section as the big cemetery (grand cimetière).

Divisions 5 and 30 were originally Jewish enclosures and contain many Jewish graves.

3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet
Paris 14th

Montmartre Cemetery

Montmartre Cemetery is situated in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France, and dates back to the early 19th century. Officially known as the Cimitière du Nord, it is the third largest in Paris, after the Père Lachaise cemetery and the Montparnasse cemetery.

The Montmartre Cemetery was opened on January 1, 1825. It was initially known as la Cimetière des Grandes Carrières (Cemetery of the Large Quarries). The name referenced the cemetery’s unique location, in an abandoned gypsum quarry. The quarry had previously been used during the French Revolution as a mass grave. It was built below street level, in the hollow of an abandoned gypsum quarry located west of the Butte near the beginning of Rue Caulaincourt in Place de Clichy. As is still the case today, its sole entrance was constructed on Avenue Rachel under Rue Caulaincourt.

A popular tourist destination, Montmartre Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous artists who lived and worked in the Montmartre area. Tombs included here are those of Jacques Offenbach (composer), Hilda Roosevelt (opera singer), Endre Rozsda (painter), Ary Scheffer (painter), Ambroise Thomas (opera composer) and Narcisse Virgilio Díaz (painter)

Avenue Rachel
Paris 18th

Passy Cemetery

Passy Cemetery is located in Passy, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France and was opened in 1820 in the expensive residential and commercial districts of the Right Bank near the Champs-Élysées. The current entrance was built in 1934 (designed by René Berger). The retaining wall of the cemetery is adorned with a bas relief (by Louis Janthial) commemorating the soldiers who fell in World War I. It is known as a small but well visited cemetery containing some fine sculptures.

Passy Cemetery contains the graves of composer Claude Debussy, last emperor of Vietnam Bảo Đại, painter Édouard Manet, composer Gabriel Fauré and playwright Tristan Bernard.

Rue du Commandant Schloessing
Paris 16th

Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. Extending south from the Barrière d’Enfer (“Gate of Hell”) former city gate, this ossuary was created as part of the effort to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries.

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Military Cemeteries and Memorials

Suresnes American Cemetery

The Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial is a United States military cemetery in the Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine), France. A panoramic view of Paris can be seen from the site, which is located high on the slopes of Mont Valérien.

Originally a World War I cemetery, designed 1922 by the French architect Jacques Gréber, it now shelters the remains of U.S. dead of both world wars. The 7.5-acre cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 Unknown dead of World War II. Bronze tablets on the walls of the chapel record the names of 974 World War I missing.

Visiting

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and January 1.

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