The second largest cemetery in Paris offers a romantic and charming stroll in the heart of this Left Bank neighbourhood. Among the 34,000 graves, the carved tombs of famous figures including artists, politicians and intellectuals – both French and foreign – hide among graves of the unknown. Along the cemetery’s verdant alleys, you will find works of art like Brancusi’s “The Kiss” or the statues of Niki de Saint Phalle.
Promenade and Pilgrimage
To get your bearings and to make sure you don’t miss anything, pick up a copy of the map that is available at the many entrances to the cemetery. Then you’ll be ready to stroll through the shady alleys in search of the gravestones of some of the neighbourhood’s former inhabitants, scattered with the offerings from gravesite visitors: Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, covered with lipstick kisses; Marguerite Duras and her dozens of pens, Baudelaire and his handwritten poems, or Serge Gainsbourg and his cigarettes and metro tickets.
Let yourself be charmed by the cemetery’s calming air as you wander along the verdant paths. Opened in 1824, the cemetery extends over 19 hectares, on the site of three old farms; the tower of the Moulin de la charité is the last vestige of one of the many flourmills that once existed in the area. In the shade of the 1,200 large trees, mostly linden, maples, ash and conifers, explore the cemetery’s rich history, as you would a museum.
Access and contact
Days and opening hours
From 16⁄03 to 05/11, daily between 8 AM and 6 PM. Open at 8:30am on saturday and 9am on sunday.
From 06/11 to 15⁄03, daily between 8 AM and 5.30 PM. Open at 8:30am on saturday and 9am on sunday.