This large cemetery in the 20th arrondissement is popular with tourists because some famous people are buried here. If you go in at the main entrance you can get a map to help you find the graves of people like Gioacchino Rossini, Maria Callas, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde or Jim Morrison, and also to help you find your way out again.
I think one of the graves in my first photo might be where the dramatist Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) was buried (yes, the author of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro), but the inscriptions are quite weathered so I'm not sure.
Second photo: This is my copy of the play Le mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais, first performed in 1784. Two hundred and twenty-three years later I saw a performance of this play at a small theater called Théâtre Espace Marais in the 4th district of Paris. (Also I once saw the play in German translation at the city theater in Kempton, Germany.)
Today the play is best known as the basis of Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro, which I have seen numerous times in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Hannover, Munich, Pforzheim, Bonn and Stuttgart.
Third photo: The final scene of the novel the novel Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac is the burial of Goriot at the Père Lachaise Cemetery at six o’clock on the evening of February 21, 1820, in the presence of two impoverished students but not his rich daughters or sons-in-law.
After the hurried funeral, the student Rastignac found himself alone and took a few steps towards the upper part of the cemetery. From there he saw Paris “tortuously lying along both banks of the Seine, where the lights were beginning to shine.”
This was possible because Père Lachaise Cemetery is on a hillside at elevations of 60 to 93 meters above sea level, which is higher than most of the city. The cemetery was still new at the time, having only been opened in 1804, so the trees were not yet tall enough to block the view.
To avoid confusion, I should point out that the word Père (= father) has two different meanings here. The character Père Goriot in Balzac’s novel is called that because he is the father of two daughters, for whom he has sacrificed everything. But the cemetery Père Lachaise was named after a Jesuit priest, Father François de la Chaise (1624–1709), who for many years was the confessor of King Louis XIV.
Address: Boulevard de Ménilmontant
Directions: Location and photo of Père Lachaise Cemetery on monumentum.fr.
Vélib' 20131 or 11021 (the border between the 11th and 20th districts runs right through here, that's why they have such different numbers.)
Métro: Philippe Auguste
48°51'45.41" North; 2°23'37.42" East
Yes, we Americans of the Rock n Roll generation have this fascination with Jim Morrison - even the teens today are into him. So, we went to the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise and discovered how unsually beautiful it was there. There are more photos on my travelogue album. It was very easy to get to by Metro. If you don't visit this particular cemetery, you should at least visit one - it is an awesome sight! See virtual website for map and list of famous names.
Situated on the eastern edge of the city, the "Cimetière du Père-Lachaise (Father Lachaise Cemetery)" is the most famous cemetery in Paris and arguably all of Europe. Many notable French and foreign personages are buried here, and the tree-lined paths weaving around 19th-century monuments make Père-Lachaise a favorate spot for a peaceful stroll.
More than 300,000 people are buried at "the grandest address in Paris," including many famous artists and writers. "Jim Morrison" (1943-71) - American musician and poet (one of the most popular graves in Pere-Lachaise) has also a grave here.
The most famous religious figures buried in Père-Lachaise are the unlucky lovers Héloïse and Abélard. Peter Abélard (1079-1142) was a brilliant and controversial philosopher and theologian who, at the age of 39, was hired as a private tutor to Héloïse, niece of Canon Fulbert of Paris.
I've been to paris 5 or 6 times but had never visited thi sfamous cemetary before November 2012.
it was a wet, cold day sadly - but it was a fascinating place to visit.
All I knew of it was that there were some famous graves - Oscar Wilde, Chopin and Jim Morrison.
The first "street we strolled-up was lined with old, slightly shabby but chic mausoleums.
This cemetery is (apparently) famous on account of the famous people buried there. I think I was aware of it vaguely, but it was D’s desire to visit which got me out there.
It’s in the northeastern suburbs, by the Métro station of the same name - Ligne 3 in the Gallieni direction. One entrance is only 100m from the Métro - the main one a bit further along the same street.
At the main entrance they have a board with information on the location of famous graves. The chap in the gatehouse also hands out information sheets. Unfortunately the information is not the same.
It was very cold with snow when we were there - it’s an exposed place, so no fun. We did see a few famous graves, but nowhere near as many as we’d have liked. We gave up and headed to the nearest café for a sandwich and hot wine.
Ironically, Marcel Proust’s grave is one we found. My final year of university involved studying his novel A la Recherche du Temps Perdue. Gave me the shivers, and it wasn’t the weather.
Also notable was bumping into prominent VTer Gillybob as we prowled around. Small world.
16 rue du Repos
One of the most known graves at the Père Lachaise cemetery is that of Doors-member Jim Morrison.
Jim went to Paris in 1970 with Pamela Courson. He was upset by the lack of seriousness with which he was taken as a poet. He did not get the wanted inspiration and became severely depressed. On July 3, 1971 Jim was found dead in the bathtub of their Parisian apartment.
His grave became an attraction for his fans and 25 years later at his dying day the police had to use teargas to spread the crowd.
Père Lachaise cemetery is well-known for a burial place of communars. We came there in memory of fighters for social justice.
The cemetries of Paris absorbed all they could. The victims, placed side by side, without any other covering than their clothes, filled enormous ditches at the Père Lachaise, Montmartre, Mont-Parnasse, where the people in pious rememberance will annually come as pilgrims.
You can watch my 3 min 04 sec Video Paris Père Lachaise out of my Youtube channel.
Pere LaChaise Cemetiere. The cemetery is sparawling and a historian paradise. From Rossini to Seurat, Morrison to the unknown, it is filled with the crypts and final resting place for the Ex Patriots and French families.
Expect to take time here, as it is fascinating and the mausoleums as decorative as some of the french buildings in the city. Walk and observe- It is a place I never thought would be as facinating as it was....
Ok, so, let's go back to your college cinema appreciation class, the one you signed up for enthusiastically because you thought it'd just require you to watch movies & there'd be no extra work, you'd breeze thru it, right? (Ah, what fools we were in college...) So one of the movies that you may have seen might have been "A Trip to the Moon." You know the iconic image; a moon w/a friendly face that's suddenly hit in the eye w/what looks like a bullet (it's actually a spacecraft). The film's director, Georges Melies was a pioneer of special effects in film, the man almost singlehandedly invented trick photography, watch some of his work & you'll see what I mean.
Melies is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery. You might be stopping by there anyway to see the grave of the guy who's become, at least to every American visitor, the most well-known of the cemetery's residents, Jim Morrison. That's fine, I was on a quest to see Jim's grave myself & I did. I can't really direct anyone to Melies from Jim's grave but here's the way I got there:
Use the entrance near the Pere Lachaise Metro. You'll be on the Ave de l'Ouest. Go straight up to the i/sect of the Ave Circulaire & turn left. Walk up the Ave Circulaire until you get to the monument of the Soldats du Siege de Paris. At that corner, turn left & walk in about 1-2 rows. Turn left again & look for the grave in the photo I've attached to this tip, it has Melies' bust atop. I think he resembled Lenin.
I'd also recommend paying a few euros & buying a more detailed map from a vendor outside the entrance I mentioned above - the map given at the cemetery office is really poor quality. Also, the staff are unwilling to help tourists & there's a sign in the office stating this emphatically. Best way around is w/a tour guide; the cemetery is like a maze of chapel-topped graves, beautiful winding aves & chemins & unmarked pathways.
But it's also the type of place I'd LIKE to get lost in for a few hrs!
So, you're in Pere Lachaise & you've just visited Jim Morrison's grave. And Frederic Chopin's, Moliere's, Balzac's & Oscar Wilde's, all the biggies. Now, how about someone a bit more obscure? Along the Ave Transversale 2, about halfway btwn the Aves Carette & Grefulhe, you'll find the grave of Victor Noir. He was a French journalist during the mid-1800s who was known for biting sarcasm & wicked humor, (or maybe it was wicked sarcasm & biting humor...) not unlike the aforement'd Oscar Wilde. The grave's on the north side of the road; a compass & good map are a big help. Look for a green-tainted bronze statue of Vic lying down on the stone.
You might notice that certain regions of Vic's body are, uh, um, polished. There's a longstanding legend that Vic's statue has the power to increase fertility. For a short period of time the grave was surrounded by a fence to keep people from, uh, "molesting" the statue but the barriers were removed when enough folks complained. Anyway, take a close look at Vic & you'll see what I mean almost immediately.
BTW, the best map for Pere Lachaise is sold for a few euros outside the entrance to the cemetery near the Pere Lachaise Metro stop. There should be a vendor w/in a few feet of that entrance at the western corner of the cemetery. This map is MUCH more accurate & user-friendly than the one they supply at the office. The better map makes a great souvenir.
Jim Morrisons gravestone. This is probably the one that Pere Lachaise is most famous for but its probably one of the hardest to find! Keep an eye out for the security guard who stands close by and you'll be on the right track. The day I was there there were a number of confused people wandering around going "who you looking for?" "Jim Morrison" "yeah me too..."
Suzy Catron née Gozard has no history that I can find, but someone thought this flapper worth remembering.
More seriously, the reason I found myself at Pere Lachaise on a cold February morning was to visit section 97 where the Holocaust memorials are gathered. My interest in these stems from the unit I teach in my Aesthetics course on memory and memorials and I took many more pictures than these. These memorials come from the period right after the war when memory was still fresh and painful.