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, such as those of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise, that of artist César at Montparnasse cemetery or that of singer and actress Dalida at Montmartre. The cemeteries also provide an opportunity for an offbeat and picturesque stroll in a tranquil atmosphere away from the city’s bustle.
The best known cemeteries in Paris are Père Lachaise and the Montmartre and Montparnasse cemeteries, but there are 14 cemeteries altogether in the French capital. These peaceful spots popular with walkers are often vast spaces: the three biggest ones are from 11 to 44 hectares in area. Filled with trees and flowers, the cemeteries bear testimony to the extraordinarily rich cultural life that has contributed to the prestige of Paris over the centuries.
Proust, Chopin, Balzac, Duras, Stendhal, Degas, Berlioz, Brancusi and many other prominent artistes are buried here. Besides the fascination of visiting and meditating by the graves of famous people, many tombs have features of architectural, cultural or historical interest, and can be visited in the course of a guided tour.