It all started when...

52 BC – Roman town located on the left bank called Lutetia

0-400 - Largest necropolis outside the city walls located roughly in the area bordered by Boulevard Saint-Michel, Avenue Denfert-Rochereau and the Rue Saint-Jacques

400-1780s – Burials take place under Christian auspices in churches and church graveyards

1100-1780s - Saint-Innocents is the main city burial ground (present-day Les Halles area near Saint-Eustache)

1785-1788 – Government begins closing all the church graveyards including Saint-Innocents and transfers the remains to the underground quarries beneath the Plain of Montrouge, south of Paris – creation of the Paris Catacombs

1790-1804 – Church burial grounds are closed and plans are drawn up to establish new cemeteries north, east, west and south of the city walls

1804 – Imperial decree prohibiting interment in churches or within the city proper; The Eastern Cemetery (Père-Lachaise) opens on 21 May

1810 - Jewish enclosure established in Père-Lachaise

1820 – Passy opens

1824 – The Southern Cemetery (Montparnasse) opens

1825 – The Northern Cemetery (Montmartre) opens

1856 - Mosque and Muslim burial enclosure created in Père-Lachaise (D85)

1860 – City of Paris annexes nearby villages and communities thus bringing all the present-day cemeteries within city boundaries and jurisdiction

1880s – Segregation within cemeteries by religion is prohibited. In Père-Lachaise the wall separating the Jewish section (D07) from the rest of the cemetery is removed and the mosque in D85 is torn down

1953 - Père-Lachaise becomes the city ossuary – remains from all the city’s abandoned and ruined graves transferred to the subterranean repository beneath the chapel and behind the Monument aux morts in D04