Pere Lachaise Cemetery – An enchanting resting place for the stars

Pere Lachaise Cemetery – An enchanting resting place for the stars

Spanning over an immense area within Paris’ 20th arrondissement, the Pere Lachaise Cemetery offers an unforgettable experience to all who visit. Situated within easy reach of many of our Paris holiday apartments and certainly worthy of a visit, the cemetery is one of the most famous in the world and is where a multitude of well-known artists, writers, film stars and singers are buried.

Dating back to 1804, the Pere Lachaise Cemetery is one of the largest and most popular cemeteries in the city of Paris, attracting over one million visitors every single year from across the globe. Named after King Louis IV’s confessor, Pere de la Chaise, the cemetery is spread out over an immense area of 109 acres and is adorned with some truly magnificent examples of fine funerary art. Its picturesque gardens and tree lined pathways create a peaceful and enchanting atmosphere, offering a relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets. Referred to by locals as ‘The City of the Dead’, Pere Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the world’s iconic figures and is a sight definitely not to be missed whilst visiting the wonderful city of Paris.

The cemetery is easily accessible via several entrances and is served by a variety of public transport options, with two metro stations positioned within extremely close proximity. However, it is highly recommended for first time visitors to enter via the main entrance where cemetery maps are available from the information office, allowing you to plan your explorations before venturing into the enormous space. From here, you can begin your journey through the thousands of graves, monuments, statues and memorials, whilst taking in spectacular views of the surrounding neighbourhood from the cemetery’s summit. One such memorial, which is a sight not to be missed, is the poignant Communard’s Wall (Mur des Fédérés), which is dedicated to the 147 fighters of the Paris Commune who were killed in May 1871.

As you make your way through the cemetery, you will find a varying collection of resting places, ranging from simple crucifixes to elaborate family tombs. The aforementioned maps will point you in the direction of the graves belonging to the famous figures, such as Jim Morrison –the legendary American singer/songwriter, Sarah Bernhardt – the much-loved movie star and Oscar Wilde – the renowned Irish writer. Edith Piaf, the well-known French singer who lived within the neighbourhood, is also buried at Pere Lachaise. Many more notable people’s graves can also be found within the cemetery, including those of Jean de La Fontaine –a French writer and Molière – a French playwright, whose remains were relocated to Pere Lachaise as part of a marketing strategy to attract new burials to the site in the early days. Pere Lachaise Cemetery is open daily throughout the year, with entrance free of charge. The cemetery also offers guided tours at a very reasonable price. More information can be obtained by telephoning the Information Line on +33 (0)155 25 82 10.