The name of the cemetery originates from Père François de la
Chaise, who was the confessor of King Louis XIV, and lived in the Jesuit house that was
rebuilt on the site of the chapel in 1682.
The Cimetière du Père Lachaise is situated in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and the main entrance is on Boulevard de
Menilmontant. The metro station, Philippe Auguste on line 2 is next to the main entrance,
whereas the station called Père Lachaise is actually around 500 metres away near to the
side entrance of the cemetery.
However, many people have reported that they prefer the Gambetta station on line 3 as the
best way to get here, as it allows you to enter the cemetery near to the tomb of Oscar
Wilde, and then you can venture downhill to visit the rest of the cemetery, which also
makes for an easier walk.
In the grounds of this cemetery you will be able to see the Communards Wall, known in
French as Mur des Fédérés and it was here that 147 communards, who were the leaders of
the Paris Commune, were shot in the May of 1871 after the fall of the commune.
Included in the cemetery are famous people like the writers Honoré de Balzac, Jean de la Fontaine, Oscar
Wilde and Henri Barbusse and the composers Vincenzo Bellini, Gioacchino Rossini and
Frédéric Chopin, although his heart is entombed in a pillar in the Church of the Holy
Cross in Warsaw, Poland. Also entombed in this cemetery are the singers Jim Morrison
and Edith Piaf, along with Samuel
Hahnemann, who was the creator of homeopathy, plus many more famous people, but far too
many to mention!
Records show that within a few years the Cimetière du Père Lachaise went from a few
dozen permanent residents to more than 33,000 and today there are over 300,000 bodies
buried here, and many more in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who had
requested a cremation rather than a burial.
From the 6th November through to the 15th March the Cimetière du Père Lachaise is open
from 8am to 5.30pm on a Monday to Friday and on a Saturday it is open from 8.30am to
5.30pm and on a Sunday and during National Holidays it opens at 9am and closes at 5pm.
However, from 16th March through to the 5th November the cemetery is open on a Monday to
Friday from 8am to 6pm and on a Saturday from 8.30am to 6pm. On a Sunday and on
National Holidays it is open from 9am through to 6pm, but on all dates there is no entry
to the cemetery at least fifteen minutes prior to closing.
Address & Contact Details:
Cimetière du Père Lachaise
16 rue du Repos
Boulevard de Ménilmontant
Telephone: 1 55 25 82 10