Let’s start our visit with a bit of history. The Montmartre Cemetery hasn’t always been called this. First, it was called the Cimetière de la Barrière Blanche, then the Cimetière sous Montmartre, Champs du Repos (we like this one!) and finally, the Montmartre Cemetery as we know today.
Covering 11 acres, it’s the third biggest cemetery in Paris, after the Père-Lachaise cemetery and the Montparnasse Cemetery. The Montmartre Cemetery is built in lieu of the famous Montmartre quarries from which, from the Gallo-Roman era, gypsum was extracted. It was used to make Paris plaster renown for being very white and thin and that has been used to build several buildings.
The Montparnasse Cemetery is fantastic since the Pont Caulaincourt, entirely made of metal overlaps it at south-east since 1888. It’s possible to look at the cemetery from above! Today, the Montmartre Cemetery includes 20,000 graves and you can still be buried there.
Alongside unknown people, many celebrities have been buried: Michel Berger and France Gall, Jean-Claude Brialy, Daniel Darc, Alexandre Dumas son, Georges Feydeau, Michel Galabru, Téophile Gautier, the Goncourt brothers, La Goulue, Sacha Guitry, Bernard-Marie Koltès, Jeanne Moreau, Stendhal, François Truffaut and Emile Zola.
But the Montparnasse Cemetery most famous grave is undoubtedly Dalida’s. with its big and beautiful sculpture surrounded by golden beams, it’s still decorated with flowers every day by fans who came from all over the world to engage in private prayers.
Free and refreshing, this visit is a must in Paris 18th arrondissement.
Cimetière de Montmartre
20, avenue Rachel
75018 Paris 18