The Montmartre Cemetery in the 18th arrondissement of Paris is the second largest operating cemetery of the French capital. The 10.48 acre landscaped funeral park is like an open-air museum as many graves have been listed as Historic Monuments. The hilly and shady cemetery is the burial place of Berlioz, Zola, Offenbach, and Dalida.
Montmartre cemetery: a bit of history
The Montmartre Cemetery (or Cimetière du Nord) was opened on the 1st January 1825 on the site of a former gypsum quarry. At first, the cemetery took the name of Cimetière des Grandes Carrières (Cemetery of the Large Quarries).
In 1888, a metal bridge was built above the cemetery. The Pont de Caulaincourt spans over a few sections of the cemetery, providing great views over the graveyard.
Description of the Montmartre cemetery
The Montmartre cemetery (Cimetière de Montmartre) has an area of 10.48 hectares, making it one of the largest gardens of Paris.
The Montmartre cemetery is one of Paris’ large cemeteries that have been laid out outside the precincts of the old town: Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père Lachaise in the east, and Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. The smallest burial place, the Passy cemetery, opened in 1820 in the west.
More than 300,000 people are buried in the cemetery over 20,000 plots. The cemetery is divided into 33 sections (called divisions).
Some are simple tombstones, others are monumental graves and family mausoleums.
There is a great range of funerary art styles: Egyptian, Classical, Gothic, Renaissance, Art Nouveau… More than 780 trees contribute to a certain romantic atmosphere (lime trees, chestnut trees, maples, ashes and conifers.)
The most famous grave of the cemetery is that of singer Dalida, a life-size sculpture of the diva with golden rays:
It is very difficult to be buried at the Montmartre cemetery which has strict rules about burials: only people who died in Paris or who had lived there may be buried there.
Download the English version of the cemetery map with the most searched-for burial places.
Some of the most searched-for burial places
Many famous people (writers, composers, musicians, singers, poets, politicians, and scientists are buried at the Montmartre cemetery. Among the celebrities who chose Montparnasse cemetery as their last resting place are:
- André Ampère (1775-1836), French physician
- Miche Berger (1947-1992), French singer and composer
- Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), French composer
- Marie-Antoine Carème (1784-1833), French cook
- Dalida (1933-1987), singer
- Dame aux Camélias (1824-1847), courtesan
- Edgar Degas (1834-1917), painter
- Georges Feydeau (1862-1921), playwright
- Michel Galabru (1922-2016), actor
- Edmond (1822-1896) & Jules de Goncourt (1830-1870), French writers
- La Goulue (1866-1929), dancer and model of Toulouse-Lautrec
- Lucien (1860-1925) & Sacha Guitry (1885-1957), actor and author
- Ignace Jacques Hittorff (1792-1867), architect
- Jean-Jacques Henner (1825-1905), painter
- Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), composer
- Francisque Poulbot (1879-1946), illustrator from Montmartre
- Charles (1740-1806) & Henri Sanson (1760-1840), executioners
- Henri Beyle Stendhal (1783-1842), French writer
- François Truffaut (1932-1984), movie director
- cenotaph of Émile Zola (1840-1902), French writer (transferred to the Pantheon)
Montmartre cemetery: Practical info
To make the most of your visit download the map of the cemetery to save valuable time.
The main entrance is at 20 avenue Rachel. Entrance is free.
Closest métro stations: Blanche (line 2) or Place de Clichy (lines 2 and 13).
From 6th November to 15th March:
Monday to Friday: 8am to 5.30pm – Saturday: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Sundays and bank holidays: 9am to 5.30pm
From 16th March to 5th November:
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm – Saturday: 8.30am to 6pm
Sundays and bank holidays: 9am to 6pm
There are no more admissions to the cemetery 15 min before closing time.
Inside the cemetery, do respect the dead, their families and others visitors by observing silence and behaving decently.
Did you like what you read? If so, please do share this article on Facebook, twitter or Pinterest!