Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in French), located in the 20th arrondissement (Père Lachaise), is the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. Many world renowned artists and writers are buried here and that is why it the most visited cemetery in the world. It also houses three World War I memorials. Among the Parisians it is popularly known as "la cite des morts" (the city of the dead).
The cemetery was named after the Jesuit confessor of King Louis XIV, Father Lachaise, who resided in the Jesuit Rest House built in 1682. In 1804, the Father's property and land around it was acquired by the city of Paris and converted into a cemetery. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte and designed by the French architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. At first, it was not a very popular place due to its peripheral location and did not attract many interments. Therefore, the city's administrators organized a marketing campaign which resulted in transferring the remains of the poet Jean de La Fontaine and the actor and playwright Molière. With time, more and more remains of famous people, such as Pierre Abélard and Héloïse, were transferred to the cemetery. It grew in popularity so quickly that within a couple of years the cemetery increased the number of the buried from a few dozen to over 33,000. Today, more than 300,000 people are buried in the cemetery, including, among others, such famous personages as Jim Morrison - the famous American musician, Edith Piaf - French popular singer, Oscar Wilde - Irish playwright, Frederic Chopin - Polish Romantic composer and Honoré de Balzac - French novelist an playwright. Also, in the cemetery, there is a large columbarium, which holds the ashes of those who were cremated. Furthermore, in the cemetery you will find the Communards' Wall (Mur des Fédérés), where 147 Communards, combatants of the Paris Commune, were shot on 28 May 1871. For the people of the left, it has become the symbol of the fights for independence and liberty.
The cemetery is a place full of trees, winding alleyways (each of which has a name), and rolling hills. The cemetery is visited by thousands of tourists every year, who can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the paths of this beautiful place.
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|Neighbourhood||Père-Lachaise (20th Arrondissement - Ménilmontant)|
|Geographical coordinates||48.8600000, 2.3960000|
|Address||75020 Paris, Rue de Repos|
|More information||official website|