A walk through the Père Lachaise cemetery 

While visiting Paris, a trip to the famous Père Lachaise cemetery is a must. Not only is it the final resting place for many famous people who once lived here, it is the world’s most visited cemetery dating back to 1804.

I’m normally not really a huge fan of cemeteries, but there is something about Père Lachaise that makes this a totally different experience. Here you’ll find an outstanding collection of 19th century sculptures scattered throughout the 70,000 ornate tombs along with 5000+ trees over 44 hectares.

There are over 800,000 people buried here including musicians, poets, writers, actors, painters and other illustrious citizens. Some of the most famous residents include Jim Morrison, Molière, Balzac, Gertrude Stein, Chopin, Pissarro, Delacroix and Oscar Wilde.

Some of the graves are so popular amongst the visitors that the officials had to fence them off to protect them from damage. You can see this at Jim Morrison’s and Oscar Wilde’s in particular.

The grave of Oscar Wilde
The grave of Frederic Chopin
The grave of Jim Morrison

One of the graves that saw a removal of the fences is that of Monsieur Noir. According to the story, Monsieur Noir was a 22-year-old journalist named Yvan Saman that was shot by the great-nephew of Napoleon, Pierre Bonaparte, in 1870. It was believed that stoking the statue’s crotch let to fertility and better sex life, which judging from the current state of it, was taken quite seriously.

The grave of Monsieur Noir

Walking through the cemetery is actually quite peaceful. We went on a sunny morning that wasn’t overly hot nor was it too cold. My previous visit was in December and it was a lot less enjoyable. The cemetery is definitely a lot less spooky on a sunny day.

According to my Lonely Planet guidebook, the cemetery was intended for Parisians (a residency in Paris was the only criteria for burial here) as a result of other graveyards becoming full. Apparently it was a novel idea for Parisians to be buried outside the quarters in which they resided.

The cemetery is like a giant park that can be explored for hours. It makes for an interesting stop while in Paris and one I highly recommend.

Let me know what you think!

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19 thoughts on “A walk through the Père Lachaise cemetery 

Add yours

    1. Trust me, on a sunny day it’s ok. I am the first one who gets creeped out by cemeteries. Took few minutes. They have roads all over so it’s not like you’re walking between the graves. That would be a bit much for me


  1. I wanted to go there JUST for Jim Morrison but unfortunately it was closed because of rains. We waited around, thankfully the sun shone and I was able to see his final resting place (took me about an hour to find it). The cemetery is one its kind though, I have never seen anything so grand

    Liked by 1 person

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