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Path: Photos > Photos > Parisian Impressions > Cemeteries of Paris > Montparnasse
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Also called Cimetière du Sud, it was opened in 1824 and is the second cemetery of Paris by its size. It is very easy to visit, peaceful and mainly flat and you cannot get lost as the Tour Montparnasse is always towering over it.

Follow the link to download a map of the cemetery with a list of the persons buried there. Persons buried after 2013 are not on the overall map but you can download an additional list with the location of their tomb. Please note that both files will download automatically to your download folder.

<a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Baudelaire">Charles Baudelaire</a> (1821-1867) - I had to start with Baudelaire, my favourite poet. At the oral French exam for the Baccalauréat, the examinator picked the poem <a target="_blank"  href="https://fleursdumal.org/poem/224">À une Passante</a> (To a Passer-By) for me to comment and I scored a very good mark. This was the text I was hoping for and I had vowed to bring Baudelaire a red rose every year if it was picked. I kept to my vow as long as I was living in Paris and still happen to bring him a rose when I visit. Photo of Baudelaire by Étienne Carjat, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
<a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo%C3%ABlle_Mogensen">Joëlle Mogensen</a> (1953-1982) - Lead singer of the French pop group <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.discogs.com/artist/1677206-Il-%C3%89tait-Une-Fois">Il Était Une Fois</a>. This group was extremely popular in the 70s, their songs were easy-going and the voice, the beauty and personality of Joëlle were their major asset. The group separated when she left it in 1979. She started a solo career but died unexpectedly in 1982 from a pulmonary edema at the age of 29. Follow the links for videos of a few songs: their big hit <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07073036/il-etait-une-fois-viens-faire-un-tour-sous-la-pluie-video.html">Viens faire un tour sous la pluie</a> (1975), <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07115752/il-etait-une-fois-pomme-video.html">Pomme</a> (1978) and <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07183249/il-etait-une-fois-la-cle-des-coeurs-video.html">La clé des coeurs</a> (1979). Have a look and enjoy! <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre">Jean-Paul Sartre</a> (1905-1980) and <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_de_Beauvoir">Simone de Beauvoir</a> (1908-1986). I remember Jean-Paul Sartre's funeral very well: I was on my way to school and everything was blocked, packed with people. A good excuse to skip class! Photo of Beauvoir and Sartre by Liu Dong'ao, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Pigeon">Charles Pigeon</a> (1838-1915) - He was the inventor of the famous “Lampe Pigeon”, a non-exploding gasoline lamp (exhibited at the 1900 Paris World Exhibition) which made him rich and famous. Photo of the Lampe Pigeon © Jebulon, <a target="_blank"  href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Dreyfus">Alfred Dreyfus</a> (1859-1935) - He was a French artillery officer of Jewish ancestry whose trial and conviction on charges of treason became the most controversial and polarising <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_affair">Dreyfus Affair</a>. After his conviction in 1894 Dreyfus was sent off to the penal colony of Cayenne. Émile Zola picked up his cause and published in 1898 the open letter <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%27Accuse%E2%80%A6!">J'accuse…!</a> in which he accused the French government of anti-Semitism and of miscarriage of justice. In 1899 Dreyfus was brought back to France for a retrial, and although found guilty again, he was pardoned. In 1906 Dreyfus appealed his case again and this time obtained the annulment of his guilty verdict. Article “J'accuse” by Émile Zola, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons // Painting of Dreyfus by Aaron Gerschel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_de_Maupassant">Guy de Maupassant</a> (1850-1893) - He was a 19th-century French author, remembered as a master of the short story and as a representative of the Naturalist school, who depicted human lives and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms. One of his better known novel is <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bel-Ami">Bel-Ami</a>. Painting featuring the book Bel-Ami (blue cover) by Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons (the yellow book cover is Germinie Lacerteux by Jules and Edmond de Goncourt) // Photo of Maupassant by Nadar, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Beckett">Samuel Beckett</a> (1906-1989) - He was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet and literary translator. A resident of Paris for most of his adult life, he wrote in both French and English. His most famous play is probably <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot">Waiting for Godot</a>. Photo of Beckett by Roger Pic, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Rude">François Rude</a> (1784-1855) - He was a French sculptor known for his patriotic themes. His most famous work is probably the Departure of the Volunteers, also known as La Marseillaise on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Sculpture of Jeanne d'Arc listening to her voices from the Musée du Louvre // Photo of the bas-relief La Marseillaise © Jebulon, <a target="_blank"  href="https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en">CC0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons // Portrait of Rude by Sophie Rude (née Fremiet), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Gainsbourg">Serge Gainsbourg</a> (1928-1991) - He was a full blown artist, a master of words: singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, a multi-talent. He was what we call in France an “homme à femmes” and wrote songs for some of the most famous women in France (click on their names for some of their songs): <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I00017945/serge-gainsbourg-brigitte-bardot-video.htm">Brigitte Bardot</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I04258902/serge-gainsbourg-et-france-gall-les-sucettes-video.html">France Gall</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJquCcBvkXE">Françoise Hardy</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07109258/jane-birkin-ex-fan-des-sixties-video.html">Jane Birkin</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I05039407/anna-karina-sous-le-soleil-exactement-video.html">Anna Karina</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07075149/regine-les-petits-papiers-video.html">Régine</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I07075117/petula-clark-la-gadoue-video.html">Petula Clark</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDVZoMlxzJA">Isabelle Adjani</a>, <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu1-ZeQ-leI">Vanessa Paradis</a>, just to name a few. I leave it to you to check with which one of them he had a relationship… He was also a true enfant terrible, completely unpredictable, often scandalous and controversial. I remember my grand-mother being utterly shocked as he <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCFm8r6_1bs">burnt a 500F bank note</a> on the television (145 € today) to protest against what he called the “Tax Racket” of the (at that time socialist) government in 1984. If you wonder what the metro tickets on his grave are all about, it is a reference to his first song (1958) which was a hit and propelled him into the spotlight: <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.ina.fr/video/I06256936/serge-gainsbourg-le-poinconneur-des-lilas-video.html">Le Poinçonneur des Lilas</a>. Photo of Gainsbourg © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons, <a target="_blank"  href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristide_Boucicaut">Aristide Boucicaut</a> (1810-1877) - He was the founder of <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Bon_March%C3%A9">Le Bon Marché</a> in 1838, the first big department store in Paris. Boucicaut was famous for his marketing innovations; a reading room for husbands while their wives shopped; extensive newspaper advertising; entertainment for children; and six million catalogues sent out to customers. In 1910 he built the famous <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B4tel_Lutetia">Hôtel Lutetia</a> opposite the store in order to accommodate customers from the province and abroad. By 1880 half the employees were women and some of the unmarried ones lived in dormitories on the upper floors. The Bon Marché served as a model for Émile Zola's novel <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Au_Bonheur_des_Dames">“Au Bonheur des Dames”</a>. Photo of Boucicaut by an unknown author, <a target="_blank"  href="https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en">CC0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons. Jean Boinod (1756-1842) - He started his career as a Swiss then French military intendant. Arrested in Switzerland for participating in the revolutionary banquets of 1791, he joined the <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9gion_des_Allobroges">Légion des Allobroges</a>, where he served as quartermaster treasurer and as war commissioner. He took part in the Napoleonic Egyptian campaign, became ordinary commissioner of the Italian Army in 1800 and chief inspector in 1810 with the alleged rank of a general. He was of exemplary probity and remained faithful to Napoleon until his very end, following him to the island of Elba as administrator. After Waterloo he became inspector of the Imperial Guard's journals in 1815, fell from grace and was reduced to modest employment under the Restoration. The words on his grave mention that he was honoured in Napoleon's will. Portrait of Jean Boinod from the Musée de l'Élysée, Lausanne. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Langlois">Henri Langlois</a> (1914-1977) - He was a passionate cinephile, a film archivist and co-founder of the <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cin%C3%A9math%C3%A8que_Fran%C3%A7aise">Cinémathèque Française</a>, a non-profit film organisation and museum founded in 1936 that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world. His grave is an eye-catcher, covered with pictures of actors taken from famous film scenes. Jean-Jacques Goetzman - A friend of the artist <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niki_de_Saint_Phalle">Niki de Saint Phalle</a>, he died of AIDS in 1992. She made a sculpture for his grave called “l'oiseau”(the bird) to honour him. Click <a target="_blank"  href="https://nikidesaintphalle.org/nikis-sculptures-le-cimetiere-de-montparnasse">here</a> to read the story of Niki's sculptures in the Montparnasse cemetery. <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantin_Br%C3%A2ncu%C8%99i">Constantin Brâncuși</a> (1876-1957) - He was a Romanian sculptor who lived most of his life in Paris. At his death Brâncuși bequeathed a part of his collection to the French state on condition that his workshop be rebuilt as it was on the day he died. The <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.centrepompidou.fr/fr/collections/latelier-brancusi">reconstruction of his studio</a> by architect <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renzo_Piano">Renzo Piano</a> is adjacent to the Centre Pompidou and open to the public (free entry). Follow the link to see <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.moma.org/artists/738#work">some of his works</a>. Photo of Brâncuşi by Edward Steichen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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$updated from: Cemeteries of Paris.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:34 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$