The Montmartre Cemetery is located below street level in the hollow of an old quarry and was started by the end of the 18th century, when cemeteries had been banned from Paris because of the health hazards they had presented. It is the final resting place of many notable people, among others Edgar Degas, Gustave Moreau, Stendhal, Émile Zola.
Among the first to be lain to rest in the Montmartre Cemetery were the members of the Swiss Guard who were felled in the defence of the Tuileries Palace during the French Revolution. Of the nine hundred Swiss Guards defending the Palace on August 10, 1792, about six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. Buried in a mass grave, they wrote a gruesome, albeit honourable page in the history of the cemetery.