Going in Style: Part 1 Pere Lachaise

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With over three million annual visitors the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris is by far the world’s most visited. For me, it is one of the most fascinating things about a city that is renown for fascination. At over 110 acres the park is vast and is much like a city within Paris. There are wide boulevards and alleyways, and everywhere you turn there is something mesmerizing.

Many famous people are buried here, the most popular gravesites are that of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. The cemetery has a large share of writers, musicians, and artists such as Edith Piaf, Moliere, Chopin, Maria Callas, Marcel Proust, Sarah Bernhardt,  Isadora Duncan, among many others.  One thing that is odd about Pere Lachaise is that the plots are leased. If the lease is not renewed by family or friends, the remains are removed to an ossuary or cremation.


The area is hilly and winding the wide paved pathways, and house like crypts really make the place look like a necropolis a city of the dead. 

Many of the graves contain statuary art, so much so that the grounds are a walking art museum.

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The two most visited residents of Pere Lachaise are Oscar Wilde and  Jim Morrison. Here’s a Pro-Tip when you visit. The Phillipe Auguste Metro station is by the main entrance, but if you exit at the Gambetta Station on line 3, you will come in very near Wilde’s grave and will have a downhill walk.


A lot of people come to a kiss Oscar Wilde’s grave there are lipstick marks all over it. A protective glass has been placed around the tomb to discourage this but has only been moderately successful. 
A sign discouraging defacing Wildes grave, but like Morrison’s grave, the activity continues. 


The Morrison Hotel. The grave of Doors frontman Jim Morrison. 




Pere Lachaise is much more than the graveyard of the rich and famous. It is a work of art, a poignant reminder of the brevity of our existence and a beautiful way of honoring the many talented artists who have the grieving an eternal treasure to remember those they have lost.

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