Originally a monastery dating from the 12th century, the red-bricked cathedral dedicated to St Mary Mother of Mercy was built in its place with a two-towered, three nave basilica between 1892 and 1900, according to a design by Viennese architect Richard Jordan. However, the old monastery was constructed in rather more heroic circumstances with local woman carrying the bricks for its construction all the way from nearby Melje.
The majority of paintings inside the church were painted by the Hungarian artist Ferenz Pruszinskay, the Way of the Cross was carved by Miloš Hohnjec from Celje; the organ was made by the Mariborian master Jožef Brandl. On the main altar is the pilgrimage statue of Mary dating from the 18th century. In the presbytery there are frescoes and stained glass windows that are the work of the artist Stane Kregar.References:
Montparnasse Cemetery was created from three farms in 1824. Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the closure, owing to health concerns, of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786. Several new cemeteries outside the precincts of the capital replaced all the internal Parisian ones in the early 19th century: Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père Lachaise Cemetery in the east, and Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. At the heart of the city, and today sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, is Passy Cemetery.
Montparnasse cemetery is the burial place of many of France's intellectual and artistic elite as well as publishers and others who promoted the works of authors and artists. There are also many graves of foreigners who have made France their home, as well as monuments to police and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the city of Paris.
The cemetery is divided by Rue Émile Richard. The small section is usually referred to as the small cemetery (petit cimetière) and the large section as the big cemetery (grand cimetière).
Although Baudelaire is buried in this cemetery (division 6), there is also a cenotaph to him (between division 26 and 27). Because of the many notable people buried there, it is a highly popular tourist attraction.