A Trail Through Père Lachaise Cemetery

A Trail Through Père Lachaise Cemetery

These directions start at the northern point of the cemetery. Starting at our hotel we took the M3 Metro from Republique to Gambetta. Then it's just a very short walk to the Porte Gambetta (Gambetta Gate) along Rue des Rondeaux. Depending on which day you go, the cemetery opens between 8am and 9am. It's pretty well trafficked. They know you're coming, and there are plenty of good maps to be found online. For this journey, once we're inside, we'll start out by immediately turning left along Avenue Circulaire on our way toward division 94.

Gertrude Stein    
This is going to be your first famous grave from my mini list, and it'll be found on your right. 

Commemorative Monuments
As you continue on there are several really beautiful commemorative monuments, several of which serve as Holocaust memorials. These will be flanked on both the right and the left edges of divisions 77, 94, and 97. While Gertrude Stein's grave in this same area takes a little bit of attention to locate, these monuments will be clearly evident.

Edith Piaf
At the end of division 97 (which is as far as you can go) turn right down Avenue Circulaire and then immediately right again onto Avenue Transversale No 3. It's here about midway down on this side of division 97, and just slightly inside, that you'll find the grave of Edith Piaf. It runs parallel to the street.

Oscar Wilde
Continue going down this street and make your third right onto Avenue Carette. Midway down on the left side of division 89 you'll find the grave of Oscar Wilde. When I was here in 2003, there was no plexiglass barrier. But now there is. The tradition has always been for women to put on lipstick and kiss his tombstone. I guess they got tired of cleaning it.

Marcel Proust
From Oscar Wilde, backtrack from the way you came and continue the direction you were going on Avenue Transversale No 3. Make your first left onto Avenue Aguado. You'll pass the crematorium on your right. Then make your first right onto Avenue Transversale No. 2. Again, walk alongside the crematorium, cross one street, and then you'll find Marcel Proust in division 85. His grave is sort of to the left of a big tree in the middle of the division.

Marcel Marceau
Continue in the direction you were going on Avenue Transversale No. 2 and make your first left. Keep walking toward the Municipal Workers Roundabout. From there, sort of continue on down and to the left onto Ch. du Bastion, turning slightly left again toward division 21. Here you'll find Marcel Marceau.

Frédéric Chopin
From here, things get a little confusing. All of the divisions are a bit more tightly compact and in a haphazard layout. But you should be working right (or down) toward division 11 where, on the underside along Chemin Demon, you'll find Frédéric Chopin.

Vincenzo Bellini
From Chopin, you'll sort of have to walk through the middle of division 11, almost back up and to the left, to find Vincenzo Bellini. Is this a major grave? No. Am I related to the man. Just barely. So pay your goddamn respects. I put a lot of time into this.

Jim Morrison
And last, but certainly not least, we come to Jim Morrison. From Bellini, work back up to the main street and then go right to the Casimir Perier Roundabout. Go past it, and then make a right onto Ch. Lauriston. Then, on your left in division 6, you'll find the legendary lead singer of The Doors. Similar to Oscar Wilde's grave, I don't remember there being a barrier 20 years ago. But there is one now. Just a little fence. Clearly people have hopped over it to garnish his tombstone, but you can see it just find from the road. It's actually a little tucked back, but I promise you won's miss it.

You're Welcome
So there you go. I just mapped out a nice little walk for you. If you go slow and look at things and take pictures it might take you an hour. And then you have the rest of the cemetery to explore as well. And there is no shortage of famous names. These are just several that I chose to create a trail. You're also now at the bottom of the cemetery where there are several exits that will take you back out to the street. The M3 Metro can even be picked up again at the Père-Lachaise station. 

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