The Montparnasse cemetery was created in 1824. It is different from some of the other famous Parisian cemeteries (Pere-Lachaise, Montmartre...) in that it is much more flat and straight (and thus easier to get around). The main entrance is located on boulevard Edgar-Quignet, and plans of the cemetery are available at the guarding post. There are several graves worth seeing in the cemetery, including that of French poet Charles Beaudelaire, who wrote "Les Fleurs du Mal" and who unfortunately got buried with his in-laws whom he detested, Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), French singer Serge Gainsbourg, as well as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, whose tomb was covered with metro tickets for a reason which I have yet to figure out. But my favorite one of all was that of French inventor Charles Pigeon, who is represented lying in bed next to his dying wife.
Another interesting little fact about this cemetery is that the street that divides the small from the big cemetery (rue Emile-Richard) is the only street in Paris where no houses have been built and therefore it's the only street that doesn't have one single living resident.
And on a completely different note, if you haven't yet had the chance to try one of those old squat toilets (toilette turque), you can use the restrooms that are located next to the guarding post. One word of advice: watch your feet when you flush!!
This walled cemetery in the heart of Montparnasse is the resting place for dozens of artists, authors, inventors, and other talented souls. Pick up a map at the entrance and choose a direction. The monuments range from somber mausoleums in the old Jewish district, to lively sculptural work by Niki de Ste.-Phalle, to grief-stricken bronze carvings commisioned by a spouse in mourning.
You'll find the tombs of Baudelaire, Citroen, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, de Maupassant, Man Ray, and 20th century lovegod Serge Gainsbourg.
Against the north wall you will come across Brancusi's famous statue "The Kiss", marking the grave of a victim of suicide. Brancusi himself is also buried here, in another section.
For sheer delight, visit the grave of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pigeon, an elaborate monument showing a slumbering Mrs., with Mr. sitting up keeping an eye on passersby.
Please visit my travelogue for more pictures...
For me, no trip is complete without a visit to the local cemetery. Although this is the third largest in Paris (next to Pere Lachaise and Montmarte), it is still impressive. It was established in 1824, covers 1800 acres, and is the resting place of Charles Baudelaire, Samuel Becket, Jean-Paul Sartre, Man Ray, and many other notable figures.
Found a good day weatherwise in my neighborhood Montparnasse to visit the cemetery.
One of the main larger & older cemeteries in Paris, lots of famous / infamous folks have made Cimetiere Montparnasse their last home:
Jean Paul Sartre, Alfred Dreyfus, Baudelaire, Becket, Man Ray, some American film stars, Petain, etc.
All the graves are marked and locations shown on large displays in at least 2 different sections. Admission is free.
It was a very peaceful, quiet fall day and well worth the trip.
Lots of info here: Cimetierre Montparnasse Wiki
The Montparnasse Cemetery is the last resting place of many of the intellectual and artistic elite of France. That´s why several tourists visit this cemetary. It can take a few hours to see most of the famous graves, get an impression of the whole cemetery and see some of the diversity in grave monuments.
Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Serge Gainsbourg, Charles Baudelaire, Camille Saint Sains, Alfred Dreyfuss, Guy de Maupassant, André Citroen are some of the famous people who are buried at this cemetary.
There are also monuments for police and firefighters who were killed ´on duty´. The French industrial Charles Pigeon has an family grave with an impressive sculpture of himself resting. The well-known statue of the kiss of Brancusi is erected on the grave of this artist from Romania.
The Cimetière du Montparnasse is a famous cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter. The cemetery is created in 1824 outside the citywalls south of Paris because of health reasons. Originally the Montparnasse cemetery was known as ´Cimetière du Sud´.
Montparnasse Cemetery is the last resting place of many of the intellectual and artistic elite of France. At the north entrance you can get a map with the graves of most of the well-known and famous people.
During one of my longer walks in Paris I entered the cemetery from the southside close to the ´tower´, the remains of a windmill from the 17th century. So I had tryed to find my own way in the large cemetary without map.
In the middle of the cemetary is the a statue of the ´angel of the eternal sleep´ (made by Horace Daillons in 1902) surrounded by green and flowers. Some of the alleys are lined by trees.
The Montparnasse cemetary is one of the largest and most famous cemetaries in Paris. There are many famous people buried here, among them Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
At the entrance you can get a map of the cemetary pointing out where to find who's burial site.
It is a very moving thing to walk along the Cimetiere Montparnasse, which I would highly recommend!
West of the Butte, near the beginning of rue Caulaincourt in place Clichy, lies the Montmartre cemetery. Tucked down below street level (you have to use the steps by the side of the bridge to get down), in the hollow of an old quarry, it's a beautiful place with many tall narrow crypts, and antique looking street signs on the paths - it feels like a necropolis, a real city of the dead. It's more intimate than Montparnasse, to which I much prefered it (I haven't made it to Pere Lachaise yet, but we'll see!). We visited it at dusk, and it was very quiet and tranquil, with a tangle of trees making it seem just a little wild. There are plenty of semi-tame cats wandering around as well.
It's open in daylight hours, so if you do visit in the evening like we did, make sure you have enough time to get out before they lock the gates!
Although this cemetery is not so large as the Père Lachaise, it is very beautiful and includes tombs of famous people. I visited it twice, once with both my parents and once with my mother. Both times it was very hot (more than 38°C), so the weather wasn't ideal to visit a cemetery with tombs one close to the other under the sun.
The photos of this tip show the tombs of:
1) Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), a Romanian sculptor who operated in France. The tomb bears a copy of his famous sculpture Le baiser ("The kiss");
2) Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86), a couple of French writers and philosophers;
3) Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), great French poet;
4) Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), French composer, author of the Carnaval des animaux. I'm almost sure it's his tomb;
5) André Citroën (1878-1935), the founder of the car factory.
I have seen Montparnasse Cemetery described as a gloomy city of the dead - on the day we visited it was far from it. While it's not as large or popular as Père-Lachaise on the eastern side of Paris, a stroll through the tree-lined alleys of the cimetière du Montparnasse is a pleasant and historic excursion in Paris's highly modern Montparnasse quarter. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of France's great intellectuals, although it also contains the graves of many celebrated foreigners - a map given out at the entrance will show you where to find the graves of Baudelaire, Saint-Saens, Sartre and de Beauvoir amongst others.
The photos of this tip show the tombs of:
1) a not famous person; I took the pic because the monument is beautiful;
2) Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), the author of the Statue of Liberty that France gave to the USA as a gift for the centenary of their independence;
3) Camille Charles Flammarion (1842-1925), an astronomer. I took the photo thinking he was the founder of the famous French publishing house;
4) Charles Augustin de Sainte-Beuve (1804-69), a French intellectual and writer;
5) Serge Gainsbourg (born Lucien Ginzburg, 1928-91), a very famous and loved actor, director, song-writer and singer. You can read more about him here.
I didn't find any more tombs of famous people, but if you are very lucky, you can find those of Samuel Beckett, Alfred Dreyfus, Pierre Larousse, Henri Fantin-Latour, Guy de Maupassant, Tristan Tzara and many more... Good luck!!!
It was really fascinating to walk through this graveyard, and see all the incredible tombstones. It was a beautiful place, and very peaceful. We walked up and down, and read what was on many of the gravestones. Our knowledge of French was fairly limited, but we were able to learn a fair bit about some of the people who were laid to rest there. Many times there would be an entire family all in one plot, or very close to each other. It's definitely worth looking through.
The Montparnasse cemetery is area covering 18 hectares.
Check my Cimetiere de Montparnasse Travelogue
The first grave of celebreties is near the entry:Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.It's not the one in my picture.I took it because of the tower.