Beginning shortly after the end of the Second World War, efforts were undertaken by the city of Paris to find a place for those remains taken from graves that had been abandoned, thus allowing the reuse of that gravesite.
It was decided to create an underground crypt or ossuary beneath the hill near the top of Père-Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th arr. and in 1953 the new ossuary went into operation.
Once removed from their original grave the remains are boxed up, tagged and all personal information recorded before it is placed into the crypt.
Today the following cemeteries utilize the Père-Lachaise ossuary:
- La Chapelle
- La Villette
Each cemetery is allocated its own specific place within the crypt.
The ossuary is not open to the public.