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Urban village

The Terrass’’ Hotel gives you 1001 ways of discovering and enjoying Montmartre.

17 September 2014

The Montmartre Graveyard

The creation of the Montmartre graveyard is the consequence of the closing down of the Calvaire graveyardtowards 1793 and a little later of the Saint Roch church.

The numerous local quarries that had been long abandoned had been turned into mass graves. The bodies of some people who had been condemned to be beheaded where laid to rest there.  Under the Directoire period, that place was called Cimetière de la Barrière Blanche.

In 1825, the first stage of an expansion plan gave this place some fame. Further extensions happened in 1847. The place then became so notorious that no new residents were accepted after 1872… and for a short period.

The Caulaincourt Bridge which is a road bridge and steps over the graveyard will be built much later around 1887. This project was imagined in 1860 and carried out by Haussmann in order to by-pass the Butte Montmartre (Montmartre Mound) through the West. This project implied crossing the graveyard through a viaduct. These works entailed the moving of several graves and some families vehemently opposed this project. The dispute was brought to the Senate that decided in favor of the plaintiffs.

It is only in 1867 that the creation of the rue Caulaincourt (Caulaincourt Str.) was declared of public interest and the works for the bridge started 20 years later. The bridge was eventually inaugurated in 1888 by the Prefect Eugène Poubelle. That same day, the Prefect went and laid the foundation stone of the future City Hall of the 18th district.

Spanning across 11 hectares, Monmartre Graveyard has been hosting generations of people, well known and humble inhabitants of the Butte alike.  It would take much too long to list all the residents of the graveyard!