Paris’ Beautiful Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Photos

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemetery
Vibrant roses in front of a weathered tomb in Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Call me morbid, but I’m fascinated by old graveyards and Paris’ cemeteries were unlike any I’ve ever visited. After unexpectedly ending up wandering around Montmartre Cemetery and being completely mesmerized on our first day, we decided to fit in a visit to the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery as well the following morning – the resting place of an array of well-known figures including Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Chopin.

Set over 110 acres in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, Pere Lachaise is the city’s largest cemetery. While other cemeteries I’ve previously visited such as the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh and St James Cemetery in Liverpool could be described as haunting and macabre, the words that spring to mind when thinking about Pere Lachaise are beautiful, enchanting, vibrant and full of life.

Er… a graveyard full of life? I hear you say.

While the residents from across many centuries were pushing daisies, the scene above ground was very much blooming. 

I couldn’t put my camera away and was constantly transfixed by the eye-catching juxtaposition of centuries’ old weathered tombs with vibrant flowers, trees and foliage. Intricate carvings, enchanting statues, chalky muted tones and moss-covered stones created a world that was truly encapsulating.

This was contrasted with somber moments when coming across Holocaust memorials and reflecting on unimaginably heartbreaking periods in history. 

Let me take you on a photo tour…

Pere Lachaise Cemetery
A captivating statue at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Oscar Wilde's tomb in Paris
Oscar Wilde’s tomb had an Egyptian theme, made even more dramatic by the addition of kiss marks all over it from loving fans!
Oscar Wilde's tomb in Paris, Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Kissy kissy. Somebody had went straight for Oscar’s metaphorical lips!
Oscar Wilde, Oscar Wilde's tomb, Paris cemeteries, kiss marks on Oscar Wilde's tomb, Pere Lachaise Cemetery
People had been having a field day covering Oscar Wilde’s stone tomb with colourful smackers. This was probably why it had been blocked off with a glass partition
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Cob webs in cemetery, Paris cemeteries
This colourful and intricate tomb door at Pere Lachaise Cemetery really caught my eye
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemeteries, old cemeteries
The moss-covered stones were shaded by a verdant treescape
Holocaust memorials, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemeteries
One of a number of Holocaust memorials in Pere Lachaise Cemetery
cobwebs, cemetery cobwebs, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemeteries
Layers of cobwebs added to the atmosphere
cemetery statues, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemetery
A stunning weathered statue stood out against the surroundings
A mourning sculpture at Per Lachaise Cemetery
A mourning sculpture at Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Edith Piaf grave, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris cemeteries
The family grave of famous Parisian singer Edith Piaf
Roses at cemetery, Pere Lachaise, Paris cemeteries
Freshly laid pink roses
Jim Morrison grave Paris, Paris cemetery
Jim Morrison’s grave was blocked off with railings to keep people from getting too close
Chopin's grave Paris, Pere Lachaise, Paris cemetery
Music maestro Chopin’s resting place was covered with flowers and candles
Paris cemetery, Pere Lachaise
A carving above one of the tombs
rose on tomb, Paris cemeteries, Pere Lachaise
A badly weathered tomb beautifully juxtaposed with a single rose
cemetery sculptures, Pere Lachaise, Paris cemeteries
A neo-classical sculpture at Pere Lachaise
Pere Lachaise, Paris cemtery
A smashed cobweb-filled stained-glass window seen inside one of the tombs

Where is Pere Lachaise Cemetery?

This cemetery can be found in eastern Paris (20th arrondissement) and is easily accessible via the Metro. To get to the main entrance, you need to get off at the Philippe Auguste station. Other station options are Gambetta – near the entrance close to Oscar Wilde’s tomb – or Pere Lachaise close to some of the side entrances.

Wherever you enter, though, wandering around and discovering it all is part of the experience. There are maps to show you where the famous people are.

Oscar Wilde's grave, Oscar Wilde Paris, Pere Lachaise
Oscar Wilde’s tomb was blocked off with a glass partition to prevent any more ‘graffiti kisses’.

Tip: If you are on the look out for a particular grave, take a picture of the map with your phone or camera so you can check it again on the go if you get lost. This place is really massive and it’s so easy to take a wrong turn!

We decided to walk there from the Opera district to enjoy the city more, along with the gorgeous weather. This took around 80 minutes. After spending a couple of hours in Pere Lachaise, we started wandering back and ended up jumping on a metro to the Trocadero Station to view the Eiffel Tower. There are metro stations everywhere so if you go for a general wander and get a bit lost, there is guaranteed to be an underground link close by.

For me, getting lost and being a bit spontaneous is all part of the fun :-)

 

Do you like visiting cemeteries? Have you visited Pere Lachaise? 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Yes I am quite keen on visiting cemeteries too – I think they offer interesting insight into the history of the city.

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