Best Cemeteries In Europe
Today it’s OK to be a bit creepy, so I would like to take that opportunity to confess my fascination for cemeteries.
I really like visiting cemeteries, there is something about the peacefulness and the mysteries behind the crosses and tomb stones, especially when they seem to reveal something about the person who lies underneath, that I find fascinating.
Visiting a cemetery on your holiday or med cruises might not be on the list of things to see in a new place, but when we’re talking cemeteries, there are some that truly stand out, and definitely deserve a visit even for those who usually aren’t interested in them.
Mirogoj Cemetery – Zagreb, Croatia
This cemetery is recognized for being Europe’s most beautiful cemetery, with cupolas, arcades, statues and the church in the entryway truly makes this cemetery live up to expectations.
Mirogoj is not only a cemetery but a beautiful park and art gallery, but the most beautiful part is the green vegetation which has taken over and plants climbing over the walls and in the ceilings, giving it a romantic touch.
Pere-Lachaise – Paris, France
There are many famous cemeteries in Paris, but this is perhaps the most famous one.
Located in the east of Paris, Pere-Lachaise is the resting place for many famous people, all from rock stars like Jim Morrison and French singers like Edith Piaf, to play writers like Moliére and Oscar Wilde.
Many fans come here to put a flower by the celebrities graves, or to pose next to it.
Merry Cemetery – Sapanta, Romania
We just met a family who had taken one of the many family cruises in eastern Europe, and had also visited Sapanta in Romania and the Merry Cemetery – they said it was one of the highlights on their trip, and I can see why.
When someone dies people tend to idealize the person and their flaws are forgiven and forgotten, and often nobody speaks of how the person died. Well, in Merry Cemetery this is not the case…
The cemetery hold over 600 wooden crosses with bright, colorful and cheery pictures of the deceased and often of how they died, whether it was getting hit by a truck or beheaded, reveling dirty secrets of the dead person.
Together with the images are quirky poems about the deceased, some which are surprisingly honest: “Ioan Toaderu loved horses. One more thing he loved very much. To sit at a table in a bar. Next to someone else’s wife.”
On another cross it says: Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my poor mother in law.. Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She’ll bite my head off.”
Kovaci Cemetery – Sarajevo, Bosnia
Kovaci cemetery is perched on top of the hill overlooking Sarajevo. It’s a nice walk along the streets up to the cemetery, and from the hill you get the best view in town.
It’s a beautiful but sad sight.
The white gravestones are tucked closely together down the steep hill, with a cupola in the middle. Walking among the graves is a sobering experience, as those who died all died during the war in the 90’s, and many were very young.
Sarajevo is a city that has gone to hell and back, a city trapped from all sides, where they targeted anything – you weren’t safe anywhere, and this is a reminder of that.
The Old Jewish Cemetery – Prague, Czech Republic
The Old Jewish cemetery in Prague is the second oldest in Europe, established in the first half of the 15th century. Today it contains over 12 000 tombstones, although the number of buried people is a lot higher.
Because of the lack of space (they couldn’t afford buying more land) they had to bring in soil to add further layers, and because it’s against the Jewish religion to destroy old tomb stones, when a new layer of soil was placed on the existing graves, the old tombstones had to be taken out and be replaced upon the new layer.
This explains why the tombstones in the cemetery are placed so closely to each other, and today the cemetery has 12 layers of graves!
Brompton Cemetery – London, England
There are quite a few beautiful cemeteries in London, but this one is special because of the eery vibe and beautiful wild nature.
The whole place smells of sweet peas, and there are many interesting but creepy stone angels and sculptures.
It’s a nice stroll in the day, but I wouldn’t recommend visit after dark, far too dodgy!
Have you been to an interesting, beautiful or creepy cemetery? Tell us about it!
(photo credit: 1)