The cimetière du Sud in Paris, more commonly known as “Cimetière du Montparnasse”, is not only a cemetery but also one of the capital’s biggest green spaces. Slightly less famous than the renowned Père Lachaise cemetery, the necropolis covers an impressives 18,72 hectares with over 1 244 trees of 40 different species. The Paris municipality is committed to preserving its unique vegetation and has decided to stop using any pesticides there.
As someone who practices law for a living, I was amused to see the cemetery get a special feature in a recent decision of the Conseil d’Etat (Council of State). Our highest administrative court ruled that the State could declare Constantin Brâncusi’s statue “The Kiss” – which adorns Tatiani Rachewskaia’s tomb in the cemetery – a historical monument, thereby preventing her family from removing and selling the Romanian sculptor’s masterpiece.
The piece, however, is only one of the many works of art and monuments to be admired in this cemetery, which hosts the likes of Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Constantin Brâncusi himself, André Citröen, Serge Gainsbourg, Guy de Maupassant, and Jean-Paul Sartre to name only a few. Whether you are looking to take a leisurely stroll in a peaceful place on a sunny day, or want to discover some of the most famous burial places, the cimetière du Montparnasse is the place to visit! The cemetery even has a map that will take you to the tombs of the most famous women who lie there.