Père-Lachaise Cemetery is both the largest park and largest cemetery in Paris. Located on the Northeast side of the city, the cemetery is the most visited in the world with over three million tourists every year.
Père-Lachaise, a Haven of rest
Formally called "Cimetière de l’Est," Père-Lachaise opened in 1804, on a Jesuit retreat. Stretching over 110 acres (44 hectares), the burial ground kept the park’s wooded character.
The large green space is home to approximately 400 species of birds and over 4,000 trees including maple, ash, and hazelnut. Some of these trees are over 100 years old. In the 77th division of the memorial park, a 13 m high and 1.9 m wide maple tree has been standing for over 150 years.
The cemetery is peaceful and poetic. Here, art and nature come together to create a soothing harmony. It is a place for contemplation, meditation, and daydreaming.
Tombs of Notable Figures
Although coveted for its tree-lined avenues, the Père-Lachaise Cemetery’s most renowned for its tombs of notable figures.
Among the famous people buried here are Frederic Chopin, Rossini, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Alain Bashung, Molière, Balzac, Colette, Marcel Proust, Jean de la Fontaine, and Oscar Wilde.
A Memorial Park Filled with Works of Art
The crypts run a gamut from simple, horizontal headstones to gothic graves, haussmannian burial chambers, ancient mausoleums, rare marble, and more.
Often referred to as an "open-air museum," the Parisian necropolis also boasts numerous works that grace visitors with a panorama of 19th century funerary art.
Magnificent statues decorate the burial sites. In the enchanting "romantic section," the weeping Muse of Music, Euterpe, surmounts Frederic Chopin’s sepulcher. Auguste Clesinger’s sublime statue and the tomb of the master of solo piano are both classified historic monuments.
While in that section, be sure to stop by the famous French painter and sculptor, Gericault’s tomb. The masterpiece is topped by a reclining bronze statue of the artist with his paint brush and palette. On the side of the tomb, a bronze version of The Raft of the Medusa showcases Gericault’s genius.
Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
16, rue du Repos