I admit I’m a little quirky… I love the middle ages, I love churches, I love Gothic architecture. And with all that comes that I also truly love cemeteries.
It sounds morbid, but I like the intense stillness on graveyards. The veneration that slightly overcomes you, and the subtle shivering that makes you hush… It inspires me.
When I visited Paris six years ago, I was really sad that I did not make it to the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery. I wanted to see it ever since. When I spontaneously spent a weekend in Paris this month my host and personal guide Janina, however, introduced me to another cemetery I hadn’t heard of before: The Cemetery of Montmartre.
The Cimetière de Montmartre lies within a short walking distance to Montmartre’s central Rue Lepic and is incredibly beautiful, because it is almost deserted (compared to the rest of Paris) and rather small.
Thus, Cimetière de Montmartre feels very quiet and intimate. Old tombstones, little cobblestone streets, trees and ivy have a calming effect in the city’s loud and busy everyday life. The colorful fall leaves and the sun during the Golden Hour created such a gorgeous and soft atmosphere for the many Gothic sepulchral steles that this cemetery immediately became one of my new favorite places in Paris… It was not only the graveyard’s beauty that made me love it so much, but also the “presence” of so many great artists and writers of the last centuries – famous painters like Edgar Degas are buried there…
In my perception, Cimetière de Montmartre is one of the places where you can feel the real Paris – far from all the touristic hustle. This cemetery is a place to catch your breath and be reminded to stand still for while… and – as absurd as it may sound at first – enjoy the beauty of life.