When we first read about Novodevichy Cemetery online we knew we had to visit it, if for nothing else but for it’s artistic value…
But first a bit of history, Novodevichy Cemetery opened in 1898 and designed by Ivan Mashkov who is famous for his restoration of the Dormition Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin, Novodevichy Convent and other medieval buildings.
Burial in the Novodevichy Cemetery was second only to burial in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Novodevichy Cemetery was used for the most symbolically significant burials this includes Boris Yeltsin and Anton Chekhov (a writer) to name a few. Sadly due to our lack of Russian language and a lack of any signage we did not manage to actually link any of the graves we saw at the time however since then we have managed to research who some of them were.
Don’t think our visit was a waste though what we did find was one of the graves we saw to anyone in particular most bizarre but interesting places to visit part memorial, part art gallery it really gives you an insight into some cultural differences of how we deal with death.
Uniquely almost every plot has a life-size statue of the interred person on it, most relating to their life career career so you have ballet dancers, obstetricians and even tank commanders, all going about their daily life but frozen in time.
As you can see some really are artworks left for us all to appreciate…. if you ever get to Moscow make sure you check Novodevichy Cemetery out. It is well worth a visit.