Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris
Montparnasse Cemetery is very near to Place Denfert Rochereau and the Catacombs so you could combine this trip with the Catacombs, Rue Daguerre, and the park at Denfert Rochereau. Montparnasse Cemetery has many famous people buried in it, including Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Seaberg.
If you have any Parisian roots and you are interested in genealogy, you may find some ancestors buried here also.
The peaceful Montparnasse cemetery is the resting place of many famous French men and women as well as some noted foreigners who made Paris their home. You can pick up a map at the entrance which points out the graves of Samuel Beckett, Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Baeuvioir and Man Ray among others.
In the center of the cemetery is Horace Daillion's "Le Génie du Sommeil Eternel" (The Spirit of Eternal Sleep) which was donated to the city in 1902 by the artist.
The cemetery is open daily and is located off the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet in the shadows of the Tour Montparnasse.
OK, so everyone "is supposed" to go to Père Lachaise to see the famous tombs and I've been there too. On my first visit to Paris in 1994 however we went to Cimitière Montparnasse instead. It's pretty much the same, but less people and SMALLER, which is a good thing.
In the cemetery you can for instance visit the tomb of Jean-Paul Sartre and his Simone de Beauvoir. Afterwards you might want to check out Tour Montparnasse nearby or walk up to the Luxemburg gardens.
Cimitière Montparnasse is in the northern part of the 14th arr. Metrostations closeby are Raspail, Edgar Quinet and a little further away Denfert Rochereau.
We entered from the south but to my knowledge there are entrances both from north and south.
While atop the Tour Montparnasse, I saw the Montparnasse Cemetery where I'd just walked about trying to find names of important contributers to life.
While looking down, notice the line down the middle which is a road that divides the cemetery in half. To the left of the front half, that is where the famous philosopher of Existentialism, Satre has been laid to rest.
Other famous people buried in Montparnasse Cemetery include the composer of my favorite opera aria "Printemps Qui Commence" Camille Saint-Saens; writer Samuel Beckett, Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1969; Poet Cesar Vallejo (darn! only just realized this :( ); Edgar Quinnet (the street just next to this cemetery; he's a famous historian); Charles Garnier (the architect of the Garnier Opera house and an infamous artistic opponent of the construction of the Eiffel Tower); Composer Cesar Franck; and Andre Citroen (the famous French Automobile maker).
The cemetery is open Daily from about 8-9am until 17:30-18:00.
The guard person working at the cemetery may not speak english. If you cannot speak much French just say: "Carte Sil'vous plais."
Taking time to explore the streets around my hotel I discovered the Cimetiere de Montparnasse. The cemetery opened sometime in the 1800's .This is the resting place of many famous French intellectuals' as well as foreigners. Take your time it is a nice quiet relaxing walk if you have time. You will notice a few sculptures as well.
Not really 'off the beaten path', but still, not as packed with tourists as the other sites. Try visiting one of Paris cemeteries. This photo was taken in Montparnase cemetery. You'll find quite a lot of Parisians taking a stroll between the tombstones.
OK, everybody raves about how cool and fun the Père-Lachaise is, and I totally agree. But people seem to neglect this wonderful, fun-filled cemetery here... the Cimetière du Montparnasse. It's got famous people, lovely morbid statues, and some post-modern tombs like I had never seen!
Here you'll find the tombs of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Emile Durkheim, Brancusi, Bartholdi (the Statue of Liberty sculptor), Camile Saint-Saëns, César Frank, and many other tombs, of unknown people , that are nonetheless great works of art.
Pictures on travelogue.
Hunting through the graveyards for well-known people is fascinating. I like classical music... finding Gabriel Faure is quite a challenge.