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“Easy to find & worth the trip!”

Pictus Cemetery (Cimetiere de Picpus)
Ranked #174 of 2,262 things to do in Paris
Attraction details
Reviewed 27 June 2018

I'm not sure why so many people are commenting that this cemetery is so difficult to find - it isn't! If you follow these instructions (which are the same as the website) you will NOT have a problem. Take the metro, line 1,2,6 or 9 to Nation. Exit the metro following the signs for either Rue Dorian, Rue Jaucqourt or Rue Fabre d'Elegantine - follow any of those streets until you come to Rue (not boulevard) Picpus. Follow Rue Picpus to #35 on the left side of the street - many people comment that it is not marked, but it is as you can see in my picture. The number is very clearly shown as 35 & although the sign is not huge, it is there & clearly tells you where you are. It is directly across the street from a car repair facility. As you are walking down Rue Picpus the numbers might look out of order but keep going to #35! It is worth your time & trouble. It is a very well kept site, very peaceful & very sobering when you know the whole story behind it. The entry is 2 euros & you are given a map of the site & the story behind it. The hours are 2pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday in the summer. When we visited today there were only 3 other families so you basically have the space to yourself. There are benches for relaxing under the tall trees. All of the graves are interesting but of course being an American, Lafayette's was incredible. The way the grave site is maintained is heartwarming. Don't miss this!

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank Lucy9252009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 April 2018

Lafayette’s grave is the most glamorous of all the monuments honoring Americans in Paris, and the only one to display the American flag. A visit to the grave is well worth the fifteen-minute metro ride from downtown Paris, especially if you’re an American.

The grave is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in the Cimetière de Picpus (pronounced peek·poos) at 35 rue de Picpus behind the Hôpital Rothschild in the 12th arrondisement, a seven-minute walk from the Picpus metro.

The Marquis de Lafayette, the colorful and brilliant friend of America during her War of Independence, sailed from France to the American colonies in 1777 bringing badly needed troops and supplies, all of which he funded with his own money.

The Continental Congress granted him a commission as a major general in the Continental Army, and General George Washington placed him in command of troops where he distinguished himself as a battlefield commander and was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine. He became close friends with Washington and was present at the signing of the British surrender at Yorktown.

You may ask: “Why is the American flag displayed over a Frenchman’s grave in France?” Welll . . . the reason is that Lafayette wanted to be buried in American soil, so on his last visit to America, at the fiftieth anniversary ceremony of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1825, during which he laid the cornerstone for the monument to the battle, he scooped-up some soil from the battlefield and took it with him to France. That American soil was sprinkled on his casket and that is the reason the American flag is displayed over a Frenchman’s grave, in American soil, in France. Now you know.

There are no signs marking the entrance to the cemetery, so look carefully or you’ll walk past it. Bring a street map, and if you become turned around ask a local if they can direct you to ‘le tombe de Général Lafayette.’

If you’re visiting Père Lachaise, Picpus is just a five-minute metro ride from there.

Address: 35 rue de Picpus, not to be confused with the nearby boulevard de Picpus.
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 14:00-17:00. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Admission: 2 Euros.

Date of experience: September 2017
2  Thank Joel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2018

Took an Uber here to arrive at 2pm and the door was opened. There was an older gentleman to the right of the gate, whom we paid the entrance fee (2 euros/adult - kids are free) and gave us a little map of the lay of the land. You will need to proceed straight and push the gate and walk through a garden till you get to the cemetery onto your right. Lafayette's grave is in the back to the right and you will see an American flag there. Next to it is a plaque of the sisters who had died in the revolution. Great little historical excursion. We spent about 20mins there.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank redredwine75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2018

Behind 2 large portal doors on a narrow, nondescript street lies the only private cemetery in Paris. The sign at 35, rue de Picpus, says: Here, in two mass graves, are buried the bodies of more than 1300 people guillotined on the Place du Trône from June 13 to July 28, 1794. (now Place de la Nation, on the eastern side of Paris.) The grounds of this cemetery are surprisingly large (5 acres), seeing as it is right in the midst of the 12th arrondissement. It is very quiet, and the solitude allows you to reflect on the revolutionary violence that took place nearby. It is a poignant but worthwhile experience.

The cemetery is only five minutes from Place de la Nation. There is a wooden gate, through which the bodies were brought from Nation, where they were guillotined. The decapitated bodies of people from all walks of life were thrown in together in a pit dug at the end of the garden. A second pit was dug when the first filled up. The pits are now designated by gravel areas.

Only descendents of those 1,306 victims executed at Place de la Nation during the Reign of Terror are eligible to be buried at Picpus Cemetery. The cemetery holds the tomb of the American Revolution hero Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), over which an American flag is always present. He is buried next to his wife, Adrienne de Lafayette, whose sister and mother were among the nobility beheaded and thrown into the common pit.

On July 4, 1917, Colonel Charles E. Stanton, US Army, visited Lafayette’s tomb and gave a speech which ended in the memorable phrase, “Lafayette, we are here.” He gave the speech to honor Lafayette and to reassure the French people that the US would not let them down during World War I. Every Fourth of July, members of the DAR and embassy officials gather at Lafayette’s tomb for a celebration.

Getting to this cemetery doesn’t have to be a challenge. Do not exit at the Picpus métro stop (as I did) because Blvd de Picpus will only take you farther & farther away from 35, rue de Picpus. Instead, exit at Nation, take rue Fabre d’Eglantine to rue de Picpus, and you will arrive at your destination in 5 minutes. I would never have found the cemetery if it hadn’t been for a French couple who actually walked me there. Generally, hours are between 2 and 5pm, Tuesday -Sunday. The cost is 2 euros. Call before you go, and call after you get there if the doors are not open (01-43-44-18-54). It is worth the trouble.

Date of experience: October 2017
4  Thank BeckyBooBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 December 2017

For the last several times I’ve been to Paris, I’ve searched for entry to the Picpus Cemetery. It is in the 12th Arrondisement, which may be the most French district I’ve strolled. Nevertheless, tucked away behind a convent wall is a small cemetery that contains the common grave of 1306 people executed during 2 weeks of The Grand Terror. Only descendants of those may be buried here.
Adrienne La Fayette’s grandmother, mother, and sister are in the common grave. Later Adrienne was buried near them and later still her husband the General-Marquis de La Fayette.
The American flag has always flown beside his grave and it is rumored that Picpus is so out of the way, the flag remained during the German occupation.

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank Dukeu3x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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