For true fans of The Doors, paying a visit to Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris is like visiting an old friend.
Though there will always be controversies on how to properly visit and memorialize our dearly departed, especially when they’re super famous, we haven’t personally met them, and they have one of the most visited gravesites in the world, doing so can undoubetdly bring us closer to their legacy and memory.
I visited Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetery after years of absolutely loving the music of The Doors and feeling close to Jim Morrison’s poetry and life’s mission.
Other than my trip to Paris, I’ve visited notable sites of Jim’s (AKA the Lizard King) in Los Angeles, have read No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins, have met people once in his life, and have played Doors records forward and back countless times.
While I don’t think you have to subscribe to an extremely high level of Doors fandom to visit Jim Morrison’s gravesite, I do think educating yourself on his life, music, and legacy enriches the experience.
Get to know him and understand him a bit, and I promise visiting Jim Morrison’s grave will be a very meaningful experience. You gotta let it “Light my fire” as they say.
With that, let’s get into how to properly visit the Jim Morrison grave in Paris.
Table of Contents
- How to Visit Jim Morrison’s Gravesite in Paris (Respectfully)
- Who was Jim Morrison?
- Where is Jim Morrison’s Grave Located?
- Why is Jim Morrison’s Grave in Paris?
- How to Get to Jim Morrison’s Grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery
- What Does Jim Morrison’s Epitaph Really Mean?
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How to Visit Jim Morrison’s Gravesite in Paris (Respectfully)
Who was Jim Morrison?
A poetry buff, singer, performer, rock star, and all-around charmer, James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida in 1943 and is most famous for being the co-founder and lead singer of the 60’s rock band The Doors.
As a kid, his family would move around a lot as Jim Morrison’s father was in the US Navy, and was stationed in several states.
A light that shone bright, Jim moved to Los Angeles, California when he was 20 years old and began to study cinema at UCLA. While he was in college, he met the other members of The Doors (Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger), showed them his poetry, and began putting the words to music.
The following years would prove extremely successful for the band, and they were soon top-tier rock stars in the scene and popular culture. Popular songs include “Light My Fire”, “Riders on the Storm”, “Peace Frog”, and “Break on Through”.
After recording the album “LA Woman” in 1971, Jim Morrison decided to take a break and head to Paris with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson.
Shortly thereafter, on July 3, 1971, at the young age of 27, Jim Morrison passed away from an apparent drug and alcohol-induced heart attack in Paris and was buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Though a heroin overdose is presumed, no autopsy was ever done on Jim’s body as it was not required by French law.
Jim Morrison’s death sent shockwaves throughout the music community and, to this day, Jim is an iconic rock star in the history of music.
🔥 If you’re in Los Angeles, then I highly recommend taking Pamela des Barres tour of Hollywood and Laurel Canyon, as she makes some notable Jim Morrison stops along the way (including his once-home, and the Whisky A Go-Go).
Where is Jim Morrison’s Grave Located?
Though much of his life was spent in the United States, most notably Florida and Los Angeles, Jim Morrison’s grave is located in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.
Pere Lachaise is the largest cemetery in France and is the final resting place of many notable people including Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Edith Piaf, Marcel Marceau, and Gertrude Stein.
For more information on the graves of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Gertrude Stein (among others), visit Père Lachaise Cemetery: Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, & friends.
Why is Jim Morrison’s Grave in Paris?
An American with the soul of a poet, Jim Morrison left the United States in the Spring of 1971 and traveled to Paris with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson.
At the time, Jim was struggling with drugs and alcohol and was hoping to use a stint in Paris as a reprieve.
Though he lived in the neighborhood of Marais, it has been said that Jim Morrison would take long walks in Pere Lachaise Cemetery and wanted to be buried in the same grounds as his idol Oscar Wilde, whenever that time may come.
However, unable to shake his addictions, Jim was found dead by Pamela just a short time later in his bathtub on July 3, 1971, from an apparent heart attack.
Though it has been rumored that his family has wished to move his remains to his original home in Florida, the grave has remained in Paris since Jim Morrison’s death.
🔥 If you’re a little unsure about getting around Pere Lachaise cemetery by yourself, or if you’d like more information on the people buried there, then I highly recommend taking a tour. This highly-rated Pere Lachaise Cemetery tour includes an extremely knowledgeable guide (who speaks both English and French) and stops at many famous gravesites.
Read More: 72 Hours ‘Til Midnight in Paris
How to Get to Jim Morrison’s Grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery
Located in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, the Jim Morrison grave is relatively easy to find.
First, find your way to Père Lachaise Cemetery by taking the metro to Père Lachaise or Philippe Auguste stations on Line 2. You’ll find that when you look this up on Google Maps, Jim Morrison’s grave is literally a pin on the map.
Then, enter the cemetery via one of the primary entrances on Boulevard de Menilmontant. I highly recommend picking up a map at the cemetery entrance, as the cemetery really is quite huge.
From here, follow these directions:
- Walk into the cemetery on Avenue Principale until you hit the first intersection
- Turn right on Avenue du Puits, and then walk until you reach the Casimir Perier roundabout
- Then, turn right on Chemin Lauriston
- From here, you’ll find the Jim Morrison grave up ahead, it’s probably going to be covered in flowers and surrounded by people
Pere Lachaise Cemetery opening hours:
- Tuesday 8AM–6PM
- Wednesday 8AM–6PM
- Thursday 8AM–6PM
- Friday 8AM–6PM
- Saturday 8:30AM–6PM
- Sunday 9AM–6PM
- Monday 8AM–6PM
What Does Jim Morrison’s Epitaph Really Mean?
Though there have been multiple headstones at the Jim Morrison grave (it has been vandalized numerous times), the current inscription reads:
“James Douglas Morrison, KATA TON DAIMONA EAYTOY”, meaning “According to his own daimon”, or “True to his own spirit.”
Jim Morrison Grave FAQ
What’s the best time to visit Jim Morrison’s Grave?
Due to the popularity of the gravesite, I recommend getting to Jim Morrison’s grave as early as possible in the day.
Why is there chewing gum at Jim Morrison’s grave?
For decades, fans have followed certain Jim Morrison grave rituals. In particular, they’ve brought trinkets as an act of respect including photos, flowers, notes, and candles.
In the spirit of this, there is a nearby tree that visitors often leave chewing gum on as a sign of independence and shunning authority. In true Jim Morrison fashion.
Where is Pamela Courson buried?
Pamela Courson and Jim Morrison were thought to have met at the Los Angeles nightclub the London Fog in 1965, and they became partners shortly after.
After the death of Jim Morrison, Pamela returned to the United States before succumbing to a Heroin overdose on April 25, 1974. Her remains are now interred at the Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California.
Though Pamela and Jim were never married, her epitaph reads “Pamela Susan Morrison.”
I hope this article was helpful in guiding you to the resting place of one of popular culture’s most iconic people.
Jim Morrison. The Lizard King. Mr Mojo Risin’.
Visiting the Jim Morrison grave is an excellent way to pay tribute to the late frontman, and I highly recommend making the pilgrimage to any fan and admirer.