“A visit to Père-Lachaise in Paris adds a year to one’s life”. ― J.G. Ballard
Père-Lachaise is the largest and most famous cemetery in Paris, if not in the world. The cemetery is in any case the most visited one in the world, with about 3 million visitors per year. This is partly because of the many celebrities who are buried here.
The history of the cemetery.
The Champ-l’Evêque hill, on which Père-Lachaise is located, was designated in 1801, along with the new Montmartre and Montparnasse hills, as a place for a new cemetery. The cemetery wasn’t very popular at first and to boost its reputation, they reburied in 1817 the remains of some celebrities (including Molière and La Fontaine). This idea worked and the cemetery gradually became more popular among the residents of Paris. In 1830 there were already 33,000 graves and the surface was increased to 43.93 hectares. (± 440,000 square meters.)
Père-Lachaise these days.
Today, the cemetery has around 69,000 gravestones and is immensely popular by tourists who want to pay their respects to the many celebrities who found their final resting place in Père-Lachaise. But the cemetery is also a wonderful place to escape the bustle of the city. With its 5300 trees, there is always to find a cool spot during summer and in the winter the trees protect you against wind and cold.
The most famous people buried at Père-Lachaise are Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Frédéric Chopin and Oscar Wilde. But so many more celebrities have found their final resting place here. If you want to visit them all you definitely need a whole day for that, maybe two. When you click here: Père-Lachaise map, you can download a map with all the locations. You really need a map, because without one you’ll be searching for days. 😉
Père-Lachaise is at any time of the year wonderful to discover, but in spring, when fresh leaves spread a light green haze over the cemetery, and fall, when the many autumn colors give the cemetery a magical appearance, are my favorite seasons to visit this special place.
Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
Opening hours: every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.