Le Cimetière des Chiens: What to Know about Paris's Unique Pet Cemetery

The Pet Cemetery in Paris
The Pet Cemetery in Paris |  © Tommie Hanson / WikiCommons
Alex Ledsom

Since 1899, the Pet Cemetery in Paris has been commemorating beloved animals. It’s called ‘Le Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestique’ (cemetery for dogs and other pets) and has become the final resting place of many familiar pets as well as a horse, a hen and a lion.

The cemetery was built to stop people from placing their dead pets in the rubbish

The French government passed a law in 1898 that forbade people from putting the bodies of their dead pets into the rubbish or throwing them in the river. Instead, people were allowed to bury their pets so long as it was at least 100 metres from any houses and covered with earth. The cemetery in Asnières-sur-Seine (30 minutes from central Paris) was the first of its kind in the world and has many elaborate gravestones and of its 40,000 animals, some were very famous in their time.

The Pet Cemetery in Paris

Barry is at the entrance

The Pet Cemetery in Paris

There are tombstones and memorials for every kind of animal

The cemetery wasn’t an immediate success but thanks to the founders’ efforts, within eight years, over 4,000 pets had been buried in the cemetery and by 1934, over 20,000 pets were inside its walls. It was open to all kinds of animals – the usual cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, rabbits and so forth, but also turtles, monkeys, horses and even a shark. You can visit the graves of ‘Dolly’, who jumped in parachutes to carry messages for the French Resistance in World War II and ‘Rin Tin Tin’, who was a silent film star dog. Napoleon’s three-legged ‘Moustache’ also lies within its walls as well as the founder’s lion, ‘Tiger’.

The Pet Cemetery in Paris

The cemetery fell on hard times but locals fought to keep it open

By 1987, the local council had fallen on harder times and decided to close the cemetery for good. However, local residents campaigned to keep it open and the mayor eventually succeeded in getting the site listed as a place of picturesque and historic interest and it is now protected by the state.

The Pet Cemetery in Paris

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article