Paris’ cemeteries are among the most beautiful ‘artistic cemeteries’. Most of the 14 inner cemeteries opened in the 19th century (after a great move to the ‘Catacombs‘ of the remains from old parish cemeteries), when the bourgeoisie wanted to show off even after death with an exuberance of funerary sculptures.
Besides the famous Père Lachaise (the biggest green space of Paris), you can visit the Montmartre cemetery, located about 150 meters west of the famous Moulin Rouge. Cimetière de Montmartre, 4 times smaller than the Père Lachaise, also offers extraordinary funerary sculptures and architecture, but also picturesque funerary landscapes, thanks to its location on an uneven ground.
Many of the famous people buried here are linked with the bustling history of Montmartre (like La Goulue, a famous can-can dancer painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, or Francisque Poulbot, a painter who lived on the ‘Butte’ and liked to paint the kids, now called ‘poulbots’), hence the many artistic personalities.
Cinema enthusiasts can see the tombs of Clouzot, Truffaut, Autant-Lara, Rivette or actress Jeanne Moreau, but it is the field of music which is represented the best: Berlioz, Offenbach, Halévy (19th century composers), Sax (who created the saxophone), and more recent singers Michel Berger and France Gall, Fred Chichin (from Rita Mitsouko band), Dalida (the most flowered tomb of the cemetery). German poet Heinrich Heine is among the rare famous non-French buried here.
Don’t miss the 19th division, behind Zola’s cenotaph, my favourite.