The Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

There are so many monuments, museums, parks, markets and tourist attractions to discover in Paris that it is not always easy to know where to start.  For an unforgettable visit, rich in history and anecdotes, have you thought about a walk to the fascinating Père-Lachaise, the place that gathers together the most famous in France? The Père-Lachaise is the largest cemetery in the City of Paris, located in the 20th arrondissement. This unique and unusual place will transport you to a fascinating and poetic historic world.

Studded with mysteries, graves of celebrities and various architectural styles, visiting the cemetery will take you through more than two centuries of Parisian history and you will discover the life and death of many celebrities and personalities associated with the artistic and cultural capital up to the 20th century, among the graves of nearly one million people.

The most visited cemetery graves are clearly those of Jim Morrison, the legendary singer of The Doors, who died in Paris in 1971 at the age of 27, and that of Oscar Wilde, buried in 1900. But the list of famous people buried here is long: the writers Molière, Apollinaire, Balzac, Proust, Colette and Gertrude Stein are based in Pere Lachaise, with Chopin, Bizet, Yves Montand and Edith Piaf and artists Pissarro, Seurat, Modigliani and Delacroix, among others.

There are two conditions for being buried in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris – you have to have either lived in Paris, or died there.  And whilst it was not a popular burial site when it first opened two hundred years ago, there is now a waiting list for graves, so that families take out a 30 year lease on the grave.  If that lease is not then renewed, the original remains are removed and buried elsewhere and the site is leased to a new incumbent.

Visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery can take many forms, depending on the guide and schedule selected.  You can choose to visit graves of particular people, or groups of people, or leave it to the Guide’s choice.  Generally the tour is suitable for children over 10 years.