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Click to see list of famous people whose tombs are found at the Pere Lachaise cemetery (Liste des gens célèbres au Cimetière du Père-Lachaise)

  The Pere Lachaise cemetery (Part 1)  
Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise (1)

Le Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise
The Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, in existence since 1804, has become a "must" on the tourists' itinerary. They come in busloads or individually by taking the underground and getting off at either Philippe Auguste, Pere Lachaise or Gambetta. The nearest métro station to get off is not Père Lachaise but Philippe Auguste. Take the exit for Rue de Mont Louis but walk right ahead along boulevard de Ménilmontant (the cemetery is after 100 metres on the right). To get the most out of your visit you might need to invest a couple of euros for a map of the cemetery from the nearby kiosk (though the office near the principal entrance will give a small plan of the cemetery if you ask for it) as finding your way around its twisting alleys in search of Chopin or Sarah Bernhardt without a map is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack! Below are photos of the tombs of some of the more well-known people buried there. Click on the link below each photo to find out more about the deceased, many of whom are more alive than dead (at least in the hearts and minds of their admirers).

Edith Piaf
Which song lover has not been awed by Edith Piaf's songs such as Hymn to love, La vie en rose, Milord, La Foule, Non je ne regrette rien or even The three bells and Lovers for a day. Raised up in the slums as a child, it was nevertheless Piaf who launched the careers of Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour, two other giants in the singing world. Click here for a biography of Piaf
Frederic Chopin
Although buried at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Chopin's heart was removed and taken in an urn to be entombed in Warsaw. This was in accordance with his dying instructions. Click here for a biography of Frédéric Chopin

Oscar Wilde
"Oscar Wilde's tomb is topped with a very strong sculpture by Jacob Epstein that was commissioned by an anonymous donor and vandalized years ago; a prominent penis was broken off, and for a time served the superintendent of the cemetery as an effective paperweight. Now you know....."
According to a tradition, Wilde's admirers kiss the monument while wearing lipstick (this explains the numerous kisses seen in the photo). (Updated in December 2011) Since this photo was taken, a glass barrier has been erected to prevent admirers from leaving their kisses with the resulting pink and red lipstick marks (as could be seen from the photo above). Click here for a biography of Oscar Wilde

Honore de Balzac
Balzac, one of the founding fathers of realism in European literature, was said to have often worked for fifteen hours at a stretch, toiling away laboriously at his books. Click here for a biography of Honoré de Balzac
Yves Montand and Simone Signoret
Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, two immortals of the cinema world, lie here side by side, in death as in life (they were married for 34 years). Read about Yves Montand and Simone Signoret.

Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, moved to Paris in 1971 and died four months later in his bathtub officially of a "heart attack" though many believed that it was due to an overdose of heroin. Click here for a biography of Jim Morrison.
Maria Callas
The ashes of Maria Callas were originally deposited in the cemetery but were stolen. Only an empty urn now remains at the columbarium there. Click here for a biography of Maria Callas


Part 2: Photos of the tombs of Allan Kardec, Victor Noir, Sarah Bernhardt, Felix Faure, Sidonie Colette, Eloise and Abelard, Gilbert Becaud, Moliere, La Fontaine, Alfred de Musset and Marie Trintignant.

Part 3: Photos of the tombs of Camille Pissarro, Amedeo Modigliani, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire and Eugene Delacroix.