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Père Lachaise Cemetery In Paris, France

France: Paris – Père Lachaise cemetery

The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV's confessor, Father François d'Aix de La Chaise. It is the most prestigious and most visited necropolis in Paris.

It might seem a bit odd to visit a cemetery when you are not visiting a grave of a relative, but we love going to see graveyards, especially ones that have a special history. We have both always wanted to visit the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. We are not alone, around 3.5 million people visit here every year, and most, like us, have not come to see a friend or relative buried here.

One of the things we love about graveyards is the ornate architecture of some of the tombs and crypts. This is especially true of Catholic cemeteries. Père Lachaise does not disappoint on this front – there are some incredibly ornate family tombs here covering a wide range of design themes from neo-classical to gothic to modern.

There are no guided tours here per se, but you can get maps of the cemetery including some thematic ones. Further below in this post there are links to several of these maps.

Memorials

As well as the tombs for individuals at Père Lachaise there are many memorials to groups of people such as those who died in wars, who were persecuted (like the Jews who died in the Holocaust) and people who died in natural disasters (including aeroplane crashes).

Famous people

As well as beautifully designed tombs, the big draw to Père Lachaise is the famous people who are entombed there. The list includes the likes of Jim Morrison (of the Doors), Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, Maria Callas, Marcel Marceau and Chopin to name a few.

There are maps (provided below) to show how to get to these tombs.

The grave of Oscar Wilde at Pere Lachaise cemetery
Jim Morrison's grave

Planning your visit to Père Lachaise

Thematic Plans
 
General map of the cemetery (PDF without the list of buried personalities)
The graves of certain personalities buried in the cemetery are the subject of frequent requests. The plans provided below help you during your research and wanderings.
Plan of personalities from the world of literature, philosophy and the press , from the political and military world and from the world of science and technology (PDF)
Address:16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
Website:https://www.paris.fr/dossiers/bienvenue-au-cimetiere-du-pere-lachaise-47/
Telephone:T: +33 1 55 25 82 10
Hours:Mon to Fri: 8 m to 6 pm. Sat: 8:30 am to 6 pm. Sun: 9 am to 6 pm
Admission:Free

Best time to visit Paris

You’ll experience crowds from May to September, but encounter the most people in July (followed closely by June and August). We’d recommend visiting between October and April if your main objective is to avoid crowds. For the warmest temperatures, October and April are the best times to visit Paris sans crowds.

Other places to visit while in Paris

1. BANKS OF THE RIVER SEINE

The banks of the River Seine through the heart of Paris are listed as UNESCO world heritage site due to the incredible architecture of buildings such as Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Grand Palais and the examples of outstanding town planning, in particular, the large squares and avenues built by Haussmann at the time of Napoleon III have influenced town planning throughout the world.

2. MUSEE D’ORSAY

Housed in a train station built for the 1900 World’s Fair, the Musée d’Orsay is known throughout the world for its rich collection of Impressionist paintings including masterpieces as iconic as the Bal au Moulin de la galette from Renoir or The room at Arles de Van Gogh. Its collections include works of architecture, decorative arts and photography in addition to traditional artistic fields (painting, sculpture, graphic arts). They thus draw a broad panorama of French and European art from 1848 to 1914.

3. PALACE OF VERSAILLES

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects, sculptors, decorators and landscape architects, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal royal residence for over a century.

4. THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris, France. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. At any given point in time, approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are being exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres.

5. THE PALAIS GARNIER

The Palais Garnier, also known as Opéra Garnier, is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. It is also famous due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera.

6. CHÂTEAU DE FONTAINBLEAU

The Château de Fontainebleau is located in the small town bearing the same name and lies 40 miles (65 km) south-southeast of Paris by road. It has been the residence of 34 kings and two emperors, Fontainebleau is the only château that was lived in by every French monarch for almost eight centuries. With 1500 rooms, it is one of the biggest châteaux in France, and the most furnished in Europe.

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