Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Good for: Adventure seekers
Not good for: small children, elderly people
Lonely Planet review for Cimetière du Père Lachaise
The world’s most visited cemetery, Père Lachaise (named after a confessor of Louis XIV) opened its one-way doors in 1804. Its 69,000 ornate, even ostentatious, tombs of the rich and/or famous form a verdant, 44-hectare sculpture garden. Among those buried here are composer Chopin; playwright Molière; poet Apollinaire; writers Balzac, Proust, Gertrude Stein and Colette; actors Sarah Bernhardt and Yves Montand; painters Pissarro, Seurat, Modigliani and Delacroix; chanteuse Édith Piaf; and dancer Isadora Duncan.
Particularly visited graves are those of Oscar Wilde, interred in division 89 in 1900, and 1960s rock star Jim Morrison, who died in a flat at 17–19 rue Beautreillis (4e) in the Marais in 1971 and is buried in division 6.
On 27 May 1871, the last of the Communard insurgents, cornered by government forces, fought a hopeless, all-night battle among the tombstones. In the morning, the 147 survivors were lined up against the Mur des Fédérés (Wall of the Federalists), shot and buried where they fell in a mass grave.
Père Lachaise has five entrances, two of which are on bd de Ménilmontant. Free maps of noteworthy graves are available from the conservation office.