Père Lachaise was the confessor of king Louis XIVth and lived on the location of the present cemetery.
In 1804, the city of Paris purchased the land and transformed it into a new cemetery for Parisians. It quickly became the favourite cemetery in the city and many celebrities were then buried here.
Remains of the writers Molière and La Fontaine (author of the Fables), the medieval couple Héloïse and Abélard were removed to the Père Lachaise. Since then, the cemetery had the reputation to be the last dwelling for artists and intellectuals.
There are the graves of romantic painters Delacroix and Géricault, writers such as Oscar Wilde, Appolinaire, Marcel Proust, Balzac, etc.
Musicians as Frederic Chopin, Rossini, Michel Pettruciani
Edith Piaf is buried not too far from the painter Modigliani and Jim Morrison whose grave is still here, but the bust was stolen and his family took the body back to the United States.
Père Lachaise is also the place where the last fights of the Commune ended up (parisian uprising in 1871) on the “mur des fédérés” (wall of the federates).
In front of this wall were placed memorials for the victims of the concentration camps. That is the most emotional part of this cemetery.
It is now the largest of the 14 cemeteries in the city and the largest green area.
For the Parisians, it is much more than a cemetery. It is like a public park, an open air museum.