There are fourteen cemeteries within the limits of the City of Paris, some of them are world-famous and historic graveyards.
Paris cemeteries are part and parcel of the city’s cultural heritage. People come from all over the world to visit the tombs of famous people who were buried in Paris. The cemeteries also provide an opportunity for an offbeat and picturesque stroll away from the city’s bustle.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Number one on our list of Paris’s most gorgeous places of rest is Père Lachaise, a tranquil haven located in the distinctly un-touristy northeastern neighborhood of Menilmontant. Formal name Cimetiere de l’Est, Its gently rolling hills, thousands of trees in dozens of varieties, and famous graves — Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Colette, Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust. These are only a few of the notable people buried here. Make it a remarkably pleasant place to stroll and think. One of the most frequently visited grave sites is that of rock star Jim Morrison who died in Paris in 1971 at age 27. In fact, this cemetery is so beautiful that it even made our list of the top 10 attractions in Paris.
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris, France. With more than 3.5 million visitors annually, it is the most visited necropolis in the world.
Tree-dotted, 1825-founded Montmartre Cemetery in Paris’s third-largest cemetery, officially known as the Cemetery of the North. The Montmartre cemetery is one of Paris’s large cemeteries that have been laid out outside the precincts of the old town.
Set in an abandoned quarry, it was a mass grave during the French Revolution. But is the resting place of artists and writers from this creative neighborhood. Stroll the 11-hectare grounds. Some of the tombstones are simple, others are monumental graves and family mausoleums.
The most famous grave of the cemetery is that of singer Dalida, a life-size sculpture of the diva with golden rays.
Montparnasse Cemetery is a cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, in the city’s 14th arrondissement. The cemetery is roughly 47 acres and is the second-largest cemetery in Paris. The cemetery has over 35,000 graves and approximately a thousand people are buried here each year.
The Montparnasse cemetery was created in 1824 to serve the southern districts of the French capital. Since the 19th century, many artists and intellectuals have been buried there, including painter Soutine, sculptor Bartholdi, and writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir who share the same grave. Of the more recent burials, the most visited is probably that of singer Serge Gainsbourg.
CIMETIÈRE DE PASSY
Enjoy perspectives of the Palais de Chaillot, Seine and Eiffel Tower from Passy Cemetery, one of the smaller Paris cemeteries, behind Jardins du Trocadéro. Commissioned by Napoleon 1 in 1820, it became popular with aristocrats and has a heated waiting room! It’s filled with monumental 19th-century graves hosting illustrious names including French composers Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré, Impressionist painter Édouard Manet, and fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. Bao Dai, Vietnam’s last emperor, and American newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett Jr. are buried here. Paris Perfect apartment Tremaine is nearby.
CIMETIÈRE DE PICPUS
LES CATACOMBES DE PARIS
No visit to Montparnasse is complete without a journey into The Paris Catacombs, a spooky labyrinth of underground tunnels in former quarries. History buffs can wander this 20-meter deep maze, consecrated in 1786, where subterranean ossuaries contain the bones of around six million Parisians. Famous dead believed to rest here include French Revolutionary figures Jean-Paul Marat and Maximilien de Robespierre. The Catacombs are a popular Paris attraction.
The Catacombs is one of the most visited attractions in Paris with over 500,000 tickets issued per year. However, only 200 visitors are allowed inside the maze below at one time. All bags are carefully checked on the way in and way out.
The way 131-step descent down a narrow winding staircase to the murky darkness 20 meters below.
Tomb of Unknown Soldier
From atop the Arc de Triomphe, you can admire sweeping Paris panoramas. But did you know that below it lies the World War 1 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? Buried at the base in 1921, the soldier is honored each evening at 6.30 pm when the eternal flame of remembrance is rekindled.
The Arc de Triomphe is now dedicated to the glory of the French army. Honors important battles, generals, and victories in France’s military history.