“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
― Anatole France
Considered the world’s oldest pet cemetery, Le Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (Cemetary of Dogs & Other Domestic Animals), is a must for all pet lovers and those seeking something off the tourist path while visiting Paris.
Located just outside of the city in the suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine and a 15 minute walk from the metro station Gabriel Péri, the cemetery dates back to 1899 and is home to more than 40,000 animals. Although originally intended for our four legged canine friends, in later years other domestic animals such as cats and hamsters were also welcomed. Rather exotically, there is a monkey and a lion remembered here as well!
The cemetery was created following a law passed by the French government in 1898 declaring that dead pets had to be buried in hygienic graves (rather than thrown into the Seine) at least 100 metres from the nearest human dwelling.
Many of the graves are elaborate shrines to beloved pets decorated with colourful tinsel, flowers and jewelry beads. Stone statues, photographs and personal belongings such as well chewed toys and tennis balls celebrate the pets and their joyful lives. Touching and heartfelt inscriptions reflect the close bond and lasting love one has with an animal companion.
More information about the cemetery including directions and opening times can be found here.