During the summer that I was pregnant with my daughter we were living in Montmartre and I used to go and sit in a little cemetery near our apartment. The benches faced the sun and I would sit there in that peaceful setting, knitting baby clothes and chatting with old ladies who would sit down next to me. Occasionally, I would contemplate the endless chain of life, death and renewal, but mostly I was counting stitches and enjoying being pregnant. I’d get up to stretch my legs and walk through the rows of tombstones and family plots, following the history of whatever family had its resting place there. Cimetiere Saint Vincent, 6, rue Lucien Gaulard, Paris 18. Metro Lamark-Caulaincourt (Line 12).
This is just a tiny postage stamp of a cemetery – not to be confused with the much larger Cimetiere de Montmartre, avenue Rachel, Paris 18 (Metro Blanche), the resting place of Edgar Degas, Jacques Offenbach, Heinrich Heine, Hector Berlioz, Nijinsky, Stendhal, Francois Truffaut and Dalida, to name a few.
If you are interested in art, sculpture and social history, then spending a few hours walking down the avenues and streets of Paris’ large cemeteries would be most informative. There is an English language website that you can consult, www.pariscemeteries.com. I would suggest that you combine a visit to a cemetery while you are doing other things in that area.