Interesting Cemeteries Part One

As we have traveled we have visited some interesting cemeteries like our recent visit to St Michele in Venice. The grave featured above is that of Sergese Diaghilew who was the founder of the Russian Ballet. Ballet Dancers visit his grave and leave their slippers in memory of his acheivements.

Death is such an important part of life and while everyone dies culturally death is treated differently. By visiting cemeteries you get to see how people (or their families) want to be remembered for eternity but also how things change. Cemeteries give you chance to see the graves of  the famous and not so famous people but always they give you an insight into life in that community.

With this in mind, we thought we would do a shout-out to other bloggers to see if they should point us to some interesting cemeteries around the world. The result was more than enough for one post so here is the first installment.

Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aries (Argentina)
Recoleta

Tracey and Rob  from The Expat Experiment

Famous for being the final resting place of Eva Peron, the Recoleta Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Buenos Aries, established in 1822. Filled with 6400 ornate mausoleums and crypts, the Recoleta Cemetery spans four city blocks.

Surrounded by an electric and vibrant city, it is incredible how quiet it is inside its imposing stone walls. Inside an architectural mêlée including Greek shrines, pyramids, and massive marble herald angles, Recoleta Cemetery is a bona-fide spectacle for the stories of its famous dead residents.

Dead Presidents, military heroes, and influential politicians reside within the gates of this cemetery. Spend an afternoon wandering the peaceful streets in this spectacular stone graveyard, where every alley is lined with impressive stone sculptures and embellished marble tombs.

 

Atacama Graveyard (Chile)

atacama-graveyard

Yasha and Jurgen from Dare2Go

In the early 1900s there was a boom of Salpeter mining in the Atacama Desert in Chile, drawing thousands of poor families into this barren landscape, hoping to find work and wealth. We spotted this enormous old graveyard from the highway, south of Calama. Our photo shows less than a quarter of it. In the dry desert climate timber dries out and shrinks. The desert wind blew over the simple crosses, making every joint rattle. It almost sounded like clattering bones in some horror movie. Eerie! What shocked us the most was the number of child-sized graves – buried hopes of the ones who came here for a better life…

 

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago (USA)

graceland-michelle

 

Thomas from Archaeology Travel

Architecture inspired by our different pasts can be found everywhere, and cemeteries usually provide good pickings. Ancient Egyptian architecture and iconography associated with death and the afterlife is commonly used to decorate memorials to the dead. When visiting Chicago I had heard there was a tomb in the shape of a pyramid. I couldn’t resist. Graceland Cemetery was once the final resting place for Chicago’s rich and famous. People with money to build some of the most elaborate Neoclassical tombs. But my favourite was indeed the pyramid. The entrance has an angel and an ancient Egyptian sphinx – it seems this family were hedging their bets.

Como Cemetery Colorado (USA)

Gravestone Daisy Stark

Billie from Santa Fe Travelers

We wouldn’t have found th small out-of the-way cemetery in Como, Colorado if we hadn’t been chatting with a local.  “You have to go to the cemetery and find Daisy Stark’s grave,” she told us. She refused to say more. Intrigued, we set off on our quest. We had to backtrack a bit to find the dirt road that led to the lushly overgrown burial ground. The graves were spread out in a grove of aspen trees. We searched a while before we found Daisy’s headstone, off to the right. It was worth it! We still wonder about this young girl who was dead at age 13. What was her story? We still don’t know why we were sent to search this out but glad we discovered this peaceful spot.

 

Have you visited and interesting cemetery ? We would love to hear about it please get in touch.

 

7 thoughts on “Interesting Cemeteries Part One

  1. Love Recoleta Cemetery, like a miniature city built for children. Would love to contribute a post about a wonderful cemetery in Philadelphia.

  2. I have a very strange fascination with cemeteries too (not in the bad way). Recoleta Cemetery was was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever visited. I didn’t see any of the others in your post.

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