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The Coolest Cemeteries in the World

October 13, 2015

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Cemeteries are a fascinating part of our culture. They provide a resting place for the dead, and an opportunity for a person's loved ones to visit them after they have passed away. Cemeteries are also parks are tourist attractions - we visit them, we walk in them, we appreciate them. There are extraordinary cemeteries all around the world; here you can learn about just a few!

The City of the Dead

  • In a remote mountainous area of southern Russia lies a small old village; at least it looks like a village. 
  • Actually, it's a cemetery, often called the City of the Dead. 
  • What look like houses are really crypts, where the dead were entombed with their belongings.
  • The history behind this village is a mystery, but most historians believe that a plague hit the area, and that those who were sick were quarantined with their families in the tombs, where they eventually died.

It looks like a village, but look again: those little houses are actually tombs!It looks like a village, but look again: those little houses are actually tombs!Courtesy of odditycentral.com

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

  • Pere Lachaise is the biggest cemetery in Paris.
  • It opened in 1804, and continues to be an operating cemetery today, though there is a long waiting list for plots.
  • A number of famous people are buried here, including the composer Chopin and musician Jim Morrison.
  • Perhaps the most famous story of this cemetery revolves around the graves of Abelard and Heloise, two lovers who were separated by Heloise's family (who mutilated Abelard and sent Heloise to a nunnery upon discovering their affair).
  • Abelard and Heloise wrote to one another throughout the rest of their lives; several letters still exist today. 
  • It is now a tradition for lovers to leave letters at the gravesite of this tragic couple.

Fans still visit Pere Lachaise to pay tribute to Jim Morrison by leaving flowers on his grave. Fans still visit Pere Lachaise to pay tribute to Jim Morrison by leaving flowers on his grave. Courtesy of Bluefish

The Merry Cemetery

  • The Merry Cemetery is located in Romania.
  • What makes it so different from other cemeteries is how the tombstones are decorated: they are colorfully painted with pictures depicting how the person buried within lived and died. 
  • Tombstones are created and painted by local artists
  • Epitaphs often have a humorous side, which shakes up the tradition of cemeteries as solemn, gloomy places. 

The colorful tombstone decorations in the Merry Cemetery bring an air of celebration to the rituals of death. The colorful tombstone decorations in the Merry Cemetery bring an air of celebration to the rituals of death. Courtesy of touristinromania.net

Cemeteries are places of respect, grief, fear, love, and sometimes even happiness. I encourage you to visit the above cemeteries if you can, but even if you can't, maybe take some time to walk through a local graveyard to get a feel for the place. You might find it peaceful or inspiring to spend a little time in a cemetery. Just remember to show your respect for the dead! 

Have Your Say!

Have you ever visited a cemetery? What did you it make you feel? Share with us!