It's not like we have an obsession with graveyards, but having been to Paris several times, I needed to see it and strike it off my list. It's often called the city of the dead due to its size (118 acres) and number of celebrities buried here; the biggest in the east of the city; situated in the 20th arrondissement. It's supposed to be beautiful and associated with a romantic stroll on a Sunday afternoon.
"At the time of its opening, the cemetery was considered to be situated too far from the city and attracted few funerals. Consequently, the administrators devised a marketing strategy and in 1804 with great fanfare organized the transfer of the remains of La Fontaine and Molière." All of a sudden, it was chic to be buried there. Now there is an impenetrable waiting list, I'm told. To cut to the chase, I was underwhelmed and not inspired.I had expected more trees and shrubs. Most graves are ancient, over a hundred years old and have no flower decorations; some have a few weeds.Many graves are in need of repair and their tombstones suffer from neglect and rust.
It also contains a good number of memorials for fallen soldiers of the two big wars, people who were killed in 1871 when Bismarck invaded Paris, the communards de 1871, Abelard and Heloise and a separate memorial to most of the known concentration camps. For a complete list of all who are buried there see Wikipedia.
It has a big crematorium too and an area for modern, anonymous burials, so called memorial gardens.