Established in 1804 by Napoléon Bonaparte, the Pére-Lachaise cemetery contains the remains of thousands of celebrated artists, writers and musicians, including Edith Piaf, Max Ernst and Oscar Wilde.
Another famous artist who is also buried at Pére-Lachaise is Jim Morrison the notorious Rock artist who died in Paris on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27. Jim was buried in Division 6 in Père Lachaise cemetery on July 7. In attendance at the burial were Jim’s girlfriend Pamela Courson, Doors manager Bill Siddons, Jim’s friends, Agnès Varda and Alain Ronay, and Jim’s secretary, Robin Wertle.
Although the grave brings many visitors to Père Lachaise Cemetery, officials have perceived the grave mostly as an inconvenience. Many people enter the cemetery illegally over fences at night and host parties at Morrison’s grave (leaving behind litter of wine bottles, drug needles and graffiti). A stone block was also placed over Morrison’s sealed grave after many attempts by fans to unearth his body. Fans and visitors have destroyed two of his headstones, left graffiti on nearby headstones as well as left marijuana at his grave site. A commemorative bust of Morrison was sculpted to honor the 10th anniversary of his death, but was stolen in 1988. The latest headstone to grace Morrison’s final resting place is flat-stone with the Greek inscription “ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ,” which means “True To His Own Spirit” and is rumored to have been selected by Morrison’s father.
If you are a Jim Morrison and a music fan, Père Lachaise Cemetery is a great way to spend a few hours.