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Passy Cemetery – The Aristocracy Resting Place

While only a small in size, tree-lined Passy cemetery contains some of the most beautiful and historically interesting tombstone sculptures in Paris. The Passy cemetery is a resting place of some very well known Parisians. The graves of two notable impressionism painters, Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot, are also here.

While strolling the leafy grounds, you will see beautiful sculpture-like graves & fascinating historical memorials and chapels. This cemetery is full of treasures. For some strange reason, the bulk of tourists flock to the famous Pere Laichaise cemetery and seem to overlook this gem (Our luck!!! Passy cemetery is still a secret and uncrowded!)

Paris cemetery - beautiful tombstones
The sculptured headstones at Passy Cemetery Photo by Kimble Young(CC BY-SA 2.0)

History of Passy Cemetery

In the early 19th century Emperor Napoleon I demanded to close down all the numerous small cemeteries inside the capital city. He replaced them with fewer and larger cemeteries in the city outskirts.

They built Montmartre cemetery in the north, Pere-Lachaise cemetery in the east and Montparnasse cemetery in the south. The Passy cemetery was built a little later but also originated from Napoleon’s decree.

In 1820, in the village of Passy, a small cemetery was built. Passy then, was a village outside of Paris. Many rich, upper class French lived in this village and they chose this small cemetery as their preferred burial place.

Famous Tombstones in Passy Cemetery

Today Passy is no longer a village but part of Paris. Passy is famous for its elegant mansions and gardens. This neighbourhood is one of the most expensive in Paris. It is therefore not surprising that Passy cemetery is the resting place for so may wealthy Parisians. You will find aristocrats, financial &, industrial tycoons, important politicians and famous artists from 19th-century buried here.

Famous Notables Buried Here

  • Édouard Manet (1832–1883) impressionism painter
  • Berthe Morisot (1841–1895), impressionism painter
  • Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972), author, salonist and famous socialite
  • Marcel Renault (1872–1903), industrialist, car-racer, founder of Renault mobile company
  • Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018), fashion designer

For a full list of famous people and their graves, press here.

Edouard Manet's famous tombstone
Edouard Manet’s Grave – Passy Cemetery photo by Mississippi Snopes
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

There are two ways to visit the cemetery.

  • Firstly define for yourself the tombstones of the famous people you want to find. Equip yourself with one of the maps at the cemetery’s entrance. Navigate your way around to the graves of interest.
  • The other way (my preferred way) is to just take a leisurely stroll through the cemetery. Stop by the tombs and monuments that attract your attention.

How to Get there

The cemetery is located at 2 rue Commandant-Schloessing in the 16th arrondissement. Disembark at the Trocadero metro stop and leave the station at the Passy Cimetiere exit.

With your back to the Eiffel Tower, the cemetery is located just across the Place du 11 Novembre from the Trocadero. In fact, in front of you, you will see the wall of the cemetery. The entrance is on rue Commandant-Schloessing, on your right.

Passy Cemetery - a beautiful Paris cemetery
Photo by paula soler-moya(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Passy cemetery is a wonderful tranquil place to visit. If you like visiting cemeteries (and some people do – including me!), then this place is for you!!. Enjoy the beautiful headstones, the serene leafy setting with the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Defiantly worth a visit!!