Cover Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Pascale Gueret
Cover Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Pascale Gueret

Famous cemeteries in Paris: Montmartre

2 minutes to read

Opened in 1825, the Montmartre cemetery (Cimetière de Montmartre) is the third largest cemetery in Paris, after Père Lachaise and Montparnasse. Situated near the Sacré-Coeur, a well-known French monument, this cemetery is perfect for a peaceful walk among the trees. Here, you can visit graves of famous writers, composers, movie directors and vocalists such as Émile Zola, Berlioz, Sacha Guitry François Truffaut and Dalida. But, one of the peculiarities of this place is a metal bridge, named the Pont de Caulaincourt, which spans the cemetery and even overlooks some graves.

The Montmartre cemetery, Paris
The Montmartre cemetery, Paris
20 Avenue Rachel, 75018 Paris, France

History

At the end of the 18th century, the overcrowded cemeteries became an important issue in Paris. For that reason, the French authorities decided to build a new necropolis in the capital. They opened the Père Lachaise cemetery in the east, the Montparnasse cemetery in the south, the Passy cemetery in the west and finally, the Montmartre cemetery in the north. The Montmartre cemetery was inaugurated in January 1825 at the location of an abandoned gypsum quarry. In 1888, the Pont de Caulaincourt, with two lanes and sidewalks for pedestrians, was built over the cemetery, even overlooking some graves. No wonder that the construction of this metal bridge, one of the projects of Baron Haussmann, was a very polemic question. Despite that, today, the Montmartre cemetery is a peaceful place, where you can walk in the shade of 800 mainly maples trees, and you can visit the tombs of some very famous people.

Famous graves

Emile Zola, a famous French writer, was buried at the Montmartre cemetery in 1902, after his tragic death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The writer’s ashes were transferred in 1908 to the Pantheon, a mausoleum that contains the remains of distinguished French citizens. But, at the Montmartre cemetery, you can still visit his family grave with his name on it. Hector Berlioz, a French composer, was also buried at this cemetery in 1869, next to his two wives Harriet Smithson and Marie Recio. But the most visited grave in this cemetery is the grave of Dalida. Dalida was a French singer and actress that committed suicide in 1987, and on her grave, you can see her full-size statue surrounded by the golden rays. This cemetery is also a resting place of many other famous people such as Stendhal, the writer of the novel “Le Rouge et le Noir” (the Red and the Black), as well as François Truffaut, a French New Wave director.

Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Pascale Gueret
Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Pascale Gueret

Practical information

The Montmartre cemetery, a famous cemetery in Paris, is open every day of the year from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The entrance to the cemetery is free of charge. 


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The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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