According to Wikipedia:

Montparnasse Cemetery (French: Cimetière du Montparnasse) is a cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, in the city’s 14th arrondissement. The cemetery is roughly 47 acres and is the second largest cemetery in Paris. The cemetery has over 35,000 graves and approximately a thousand people are buried here each year.

The cemetery contains 35,000 plots and is the resting place to a variety of individuals including political figures, philosophers, artists, actors, and writers. Additionally, in the cemetery one can find a number of tombs commemorating those who died in the Franco-Prussian war during the Siege of Paris (1870-1871) and the Paris Commune (1871).

The cemetery was created in the beginning of the 19th century in the southern part of the city. At the same time there were cemeteries outside city limits: Passy Cemetery to the west, Montmartre Cemetery to the north, and Père Lachaise Cemetery to the east.

In the 16th century the intersecting roads of Vavin and Raspail were dump areas for rubble and stones from nearby quarries. This created an artificial hill and is where “mont” came into the name Montparnasse. Students at the time would congregate on the hill to have fun and participate in open-air dances.

In the 17th century the future location of the cemetery consisted of three farms that belonged to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital and an estate of the Brothers of Charity (frères de la Charité). During this time monks built a windmill that is still visible today, minus its sails. During the French Revolution the land and church were confiscated and the cemetery became property of the government. At this time, anyone who died at the hospital and whose body was not claimed was buried here.

In the 19th century cemeteries were banned in Paris due to health concerns. Several new cemeteries outside the precincts of the capital replaced all the internal Parisian ones: Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père Lachaise Cemetery in the east, and Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. Montparnasse as well as Père Lachaise and Montmartre replaced the Cimetière des Innocents (those buried here were relocated to the Catacombs). During this time the city of Paris attained the estate and surrounding grounds in order to create a cemetery for the burial of people who lived in the Left Bank of the city. Previously, these inhabitants were buried in the cemetery of Sainte-Catherine and in the village of Vaugirard.

The cemetery at Montparnasse was originally known as Le Cimetière du Sud (Southern Cemetery) and it officially opened July 25, 1824. Since its opening, more than 300,000 people have been buried in Montparnasse.

Taken with a Sony RX100M3.

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