Père Lachaise Cemetery

An introduction to Père Lachaise cemetery

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 19th June 2007
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under French
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Location of Pere Lachaise Copyrighted image Copyright: Open2 team

Sculpture at Pere Lachaise Cemetery Copyrighted image Copyright: BBC

Surprisingly perhaps, the cemetery is a favourite destination for visitors to the city. It contains over a million graves and many of those seeking it out are passionate about visiting the resting places of some particularly iconic figures to be found there - from the world of rock music to classical literature and politics.

It has a rich architectural heritage and is a place with a famous history. It originated in the 17th century when the government decided to re-bury bodies from churches in the city. It soon became a fashionable burial ground and Père-Lachaise found itself in demand as a final resting place.

To assist visitors, maps are placed around the whole area offering help in spotting the graves of the likes of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac and Frederic Chopin.

It is open between 8.00 and 5.30 Mondays to Saturdays and 9.00 until 5.30 on Sundays.

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