Guillotière Cemetery

Guillotière Cemetery is the name of two adjacent but associated cemeteries in Lyon, France. The two cemeteries are distinguished according to when they were built: the new cemetery (Cimetière de La Guillotière nouveau) was built in 1854 and the old cemetery (Cimetière de La Guillotière ancien) in 1822. They are situated in the La Guillotière neighborhood of the city, in the 7th and 8th arrondissements, just south of Parc Sergent Blandan. They were built to address the shortage of burial spaces in the city. The old cemetery is just north of the new cemetery, and the two are separated by Avenue Berthelot and the railroad tracks connecting Perrache and Part-Dieu railway stations. The new cemetery is the largest in Lyon at 18 hectares (44 acres).

Guillotière Cemetery
  • Cimetière de La Guillotière nouveau
  • Cimetière de La Guillotière ancien
A narrow walking path shaded by trees with rows of graves on either side
Row number 3 in the new cemetery
  • 1854 (New cemetery)
  • 1822 (Old cemetery)
Coordinates45°44′19″N 4°51′25″E / 45.7385°N 4.8569°E / 45.7385; 4.8569 (New Guillotière Cemetery) (New cemetery)Coordinates: 45°44′19″N 4°51′25″E / 45.7385°N 4.8569°E / 45.7385; 4.8569 (New Guillotière Cemetery) (New cemetery)
Size18 hectares (44 acres) for the new cemetery
No. of graves40,000
Find a GraveGuillotière Cemetery


Before the end of the 17th century only small church cemeteries existed in Lyon.[1] In 1695 a cemetery named "Cimitière de la Madeleine" was built to accommodate the dead from Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon. In 1807 Cimetière de Loyasse was built on Fourvière hill.[2] These new cemeteries still did not provide enough space for the rapidly growing city, and Guillotière Cemetery was meant to alleviate the growing need for more burial spaces.[3]

The development of Guillotière Cemetery had first been proposed on 1 March 1795 to be built at "Clos Macors", in the commune of La Guillotière, but the cemetery didn't open until 1822.[4][3][5] When La Guillotière amalgamated with Lyon in 1852, it became the main cemetery in the city of Lyon.[1] Despite the additional land, by 1854 the space again proved to be insufficient so the new cemetery was constructed to provide additional space for burials.[3]

The cemetery sustained significant damage when it was mistakenly bombed by the American military during the Second World War on 26 May 1944.[6][7][8] There is still visible damage on some of the graves at the south end of the new cemetery near rue Pierre Delore.[6]


New cemetery blueprint

The new cemetery is organized in concentric circles, and is the largest in the city at 18 hectares (44 acres).[9] As of 2018, the two cemeteries together contained around 40,000 tombs.[10]

A square of child graves, that includes 80 mini crypts, was constructed in 2015 with support from the Hospices Civils de Lyon and the city of Lyon. This construction was to create space after a similar square built in 2009 reached its capacity. The 2015 construction encompasses an area of 450 square metres (4,800 sq ft) and cost around €25,000.[11]

The two cemeteries are separated by Avenue Berthelot and the railroad tracks connecting Perrache and Part-Dieu railway stations.[12]

Notable intermentsEdit

Several notable people are buried at the cemetery, including:[3][10]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Cimetière de la Guillotière et crématorium". Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon (in French). 3 June 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  2. ^ Micholin, Nadine (22 June 2015). "Vente aux enchères : 1 euro, la dernière demeure". Le Progrès (in French). Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Landru, Philippe (18 January 2009). "LYON (69) : nouveau cimetière de la Guillotière". Cimetières de France et d'ailleurs (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ Bertin, Dominique (15 April 2013). Guide de Lyon et ses cimitières (in French). Lyon: Lyonnaises d'Art et d'Histoire. p. 128. ISBN 978-2841473090.
  5. ^ Guillon, Aimé (1 January 1824). Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de la ville de Lyon pendant la Révolution (in French). Paris: Gauthier frères. p. 335. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b Clement, Lauriane (7 August 2014). "Au cimetière de la Guillotière, à la recherche des traces du bombardement allié de 1944". Rue89Lyon (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  7. ^ "FRAGILE MEMOIRE Catalogue illustré des clichés sur verre (sous séries 3Ph, 10Ph, 15Ph & 38 Ph) – 2ÈME PARTIE : RÉPERTOIRE NUMÉRIQUE SOUS-SÉRIE 3 PH". les Archives de Lyon (in French). Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  8. ^ Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul, eds. (1995). "Lyons". Northern Europe: International Dictionary of Historic Places. 2. London and New York: Routledge. p. 725. ISBN 1-884964-01-X. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Cimetière de la Guillotière nouveau". Site Officiel de la Ville de Lyon (in French). Grand Lyon. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Monuments Historiques: Cimetière de la Guillotière". ONLYLYON (in French). Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  11. ^ Duret, Aline (22 July 2015). "À la Guillotière, la Ville aménage un cimetière pour les enfants". Le Progrès (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  12. ^ De Santis, Myriam. "Les Cimetières de la Guillotière (ancien et nouveau)". Lelyondesgones (in French). Retrieved 21 March 2017.

External linksEdit