Exploring Paris’s cemeteries–(Montmartre, Montparnasse, Passy, Père Lachaise, and Picpus)–can be a rewarding task. Artists, statesmen, and industrialists abound in these cities of the dead. Additionally, memorials, historical relics, and works of art make such trips all the more fascinating. With enough time, Paris’ cemeteries will reveal their treasures to any visitors. Given that most visitors are on a strict schedule, a cemetery map will save valuable time when conducting a tour of the cemetery’s highlights. However, most maps only point to the general area in which the tomb is located. This leads to aimless wandering and frustration which can be minimized with prior knowledge of a tomb’s design. Therefore, I hope that these articles will serve as a useful tool for visitors to Paris’ cemeteries as well as a guide to those interested in learning more about some of the most famous and interesting sites in Paris.
Père Lachaise was established in 1804 and is located at 16, rue du Repos. It was named after Père Franà§ois de la Chaise, the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived on the site. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not an immediate success. Parisians were wary of being buried in a new cemetery, especially one not consecrated by the church. In order to remedy this situation, the cemetery managed to secure the remains of La Fontaine and Molière and transferred them to the cemetery in 1804. Another public relations move occurred in 1817, when the remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloà¯se were also transferred to the cemetery. They were interred under a canopy made from fragments of the Abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine. Also of note are the Holocaust memorials, the Mur des Fédérés (Communards’ Wall), the lipstick stained tomb of Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison’s grave.
The cemetery’s architecture and monuments: