Although visiting a cemetery may seem a slightly morbid thing to do, in Paris – like so many things – they become an art form. There are several dotted around the city, and they are also places to pay homage to the country’s famous writers, artists, actors and singers amongst many others, and sometimes even a home to contemporary art.
My favourite is Pere Lachaise, but the Cimitière Montparnasse is also well worth a detour. It is the final resting place of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Baudelaire and Serge Gainsbourg – whose tomb is strewn with metro tickets in reference to the song that made him famous. You will also find sculptures by Niki de Sainte Phalle (main picture is her sculpture ‘Oiseau pour Jean Jacques’) on the graves of two of her friends, and a beautiful sculpture by Brancusi hidden away in a far corner.
You can pick up a map at the entrance to the cemetery, and enjoy a quiet wander around amongst the flowers and the sculptures.
- Cimitière de Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris. metro Edgar Quinet or Raspail
Open daily 9:00 – 17:30