Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the shutting down of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786 on the fringe of Les Halles food market, on the grounds that it presented a health hazard. Several new cemeteries replaced all the Parisian ones, outside the precincts of the capital, in the early 19th century: Montmartre in the north, Le Cimetière Père Lachaise in the east, Cimetière de Passy in the west and Cimetiere de Montparnasse in the south.
Located west of the Butte, near the beginning of rue Caulaincourt in place Clichy, the cemetery in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris is built below street level in the hollow of an old quarry with its entrance on avenue Rachel under rue Caulaincourt. The cemetery epitomizes the artsy, quixotic, gentle, almost whimsical Paris that every romantic visitor secretly cherishes.
A popular tourist destination, it is the final resting place for many famous artists who lived and worked in the Montmartre area. A few of the famous buried in the Montmartre Cemetery are: