From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Created from three farms in 1824, the Montparnasse cemetery was originally known as Le Cimetière du Sud. Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the shutting down of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786 due to health concerns. Several new cemeteries outside of the precincts of the capital replaced all the internal Parisian ones in the early 19th, Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père-Lachaise Cemetery in the east and the Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. At the heart of the city, and today, sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, is Passy Cemetery.
Montparnasse Cemetery is the eternal home of many of France's intellectual and artistic elite as well as publishers and others who promoted the works of authors and artists. There are also monuments to police and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the city of Paris.
Because of the many notable people buried there, it is a highly popular tourist attraction.