Tomb tales restore life to France’s buried past

Tombs with a view in the exceptional Monumental Cemetery, on the outskirts of Rouen and overlooking the cathedral

The cemeteries of France offer more than a brief history of people’s lives, as The Connexion discovers

The huge diversity of French architecture and art of the 19th and early 20th centuries is on show at many of the nation’s cemeteries.

Unlike the restrained graveyards of the UK, cemeteries in France are often flamboyant, with extraordinary tombs, sculptures and monuments.

Guénola Groud is the cemeteries heritage officer for Paris and has co-written Cimetières et Tombeaux, a sumptuous book with superb photos.

She visited and studied cemeteries throughout the country and was surprised by the range of styles.

“The period for decorative tombs started at the beginning of the 19th century and went on until some time between the two world wars,” she said.

“Before the Revolution, the church took care of the dead, and their resting place was closed to the public.

“In 1804, after the Revolution, Napoleon’s Decree 23 Prairial an XII transferred the property ...

To read the remaining 85% of this article, you need to either

Subscribe now to The Connexion and benefit from access to our archived articles since 2006

Freedom Subscription

Pay every three months. Our most flexible subscription.

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

1 Year Subscription (12 editions)

1 year of great reading in print and online

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital Subscription (1 Year) (Our best value offer)

1 year of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital subscription (freedom - 3 months)

3 months of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

More articles from Explore France
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...