The most famous cemeteries in the world

16 most beautiful cemeteries in the world

The first to bury their dead were the Neanderthals. They dug a small hole in the ground, in a sleeping pose laid their dead fellow in the hole, pelted him with flowers and surrounded him with stones. Burial traditions have not changed much since then, except for the appearance of cremation. It is believed that death and beauty – things are incompatible. In today’s world cemeteries have become not only a sanctuary for burials, but also a place where you can think about the meaning of life. Let’s visit the most beautiful cemeteries in the world to make sure that these are really places of philosophical fusion of fleeting life and eternity.

16 of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world:

Waverly. Sydney. Australia

Waverly. Sydney

On a high cliff in the eastern suburbs of Sydney between Crowelly and Bronte beaches lies Waverley Cemetery. It was founded in 1877.

Now on the territory of 17 hectares there are about 50 thousand graves, and the total number of burials is estimated at 86 thousand. In addition to ordinary graves, there are crypts and columbariums. Most of the monuments and crypts are made in the Victorian style, which is why the cemetery received the status of a historical site. Poet Henry Lawson, Australia’s literary classic, and Edmund Burton, the first Prime Minister of the Continent, are both buried here.

From the high cliff you can watch the sunrise, watch the surfers go rollerblading, or just breathe in the fresh ocean breeze.

Pere Lachaise. Paris. France

Pere Lachaise. CC0

The most visited cemetery in the world is located to the east of the French capital. Its history stretches back to May 1804.

At first the cemetery was located far from the city, and now it is part of the Boulevard Menilmontant. There is a wall of Communards, near which in 1871 the participants of the Paris Commune were shot. The owners of the site, in order to make the place popular, succeeded in having the remains of La Fontaine and Molière reburied there. Other notables include Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison.

On the hilly necropolis, in addition to the graves, there are two monuments. In 1899, the “Monument to the Dead”, sculpted by Albert Bartolomé, was erected. And in 2005, a monument was erected here in honor of the members of the French Resistance movement.

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Punta Arenas. Chile

Punta Arenas

Between the streets of Angamos and Francisco Bilbao in the northern city of Punta Arenas stretches a necropolis, which according to CNN is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries on the planet.

The first burials appeared here in April 1894. Now the entire site is occupied and city officials have set aside a new place for burials. In 1919, the architect Fortunato Circutti erected beautiful arches and walls. Chapels of famous Chilean families were built on the grounds. Between the crypts and graves, pyramids of majestic cypresses stare upward.

Punta Arenas. Chile

There are many beautiful legends associated with the cemetery. One of them says that Sarah Brown, who visited the historic site of Patagonia, commanded to close the gate behind her, and not open it until her death. The servants clearly complied with the request of the famous native of the Russian Empire.

Roman non-Catholic cemetery. Rome. Italy.

Roman non-Catholic cemetery

It is also known as the Roman English cemetery where Protestants are buried. The first to be buried here in 1738 was an English student who fell from his horse. History has preserved his name Langton and the age of death – 25 years.

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They continued to bury here the representatives of non-Catholic faith who died in Rome, but the official status of the cemetery picturesque place within the boundaries of Rome received in 1821. This decision was made by the authorities of Rome due to the fact that more and more people began to travel, but mostly students were buried here, engaged in the Roman educational institutions.

An interesting case in point is that two young poets, John Keats and Percy Shelley, were buried here. Shelley was found drowned on the beach and had Keats’ book in his pocket.

Mirogoy. Zagreb. Croatia

Merry

At the foot of the majestic mountain Medvednica, on the estate of the linguist Ljudevit Gaj in the 19th century, a burial place for citizens of Zagreb was formed. The official history of the cemetery dates back to 1876.

Austrian architect Hermann Bolle designed the project and created a real work of architecture. He created the interior of one of the walls with a Renaissance style arcade. Memorial sculptures are displayed in the arches. There are crypts of famous Croatian families and famous personalities in the arcades.

High vaults support the arches, which are twined with ivy. The floors are lined with mosaic. All in colors. There is an Orthodox church here. And also a place where German soldiers are buried. The park-necropolis has become one of the most visited places in Zagreb.

Merry Cemetery. Sapinca. Romania

Merry Cemetery

The “Merry Cemetery” in the village of Sapinca is known throughout the world for its painted tombstones and original epitaphs. Some of them are written in verse. The drawings are made in the style of naive art, and the poems have become true masterpieces of literature. They briefly tell the story of the person who rests at Merry Cemetery.

For example, a drunkard is depicted with a bottle in his hands, and a skilled blacksmith at making a symbol of happiness – a horseshoe.

The idea came from local woodcarver Stan Jon Patrash. In 1935 he carved the first “merry” epitaph. This is a real open-air museum. Tourists come to this part of Romania to experience the difference between classic burial sites and such a distinctive necropolis.

Highgate. London. England

Highgate

London’s most famous cemetery is located in the eponymous district of the British capital, and its history began in 1839. It was at this time created the project to create seven burial places, which are called the “Magic Seven”.

It is famous for its unusual grave structures, tall cedars and peculiar architecture. In the Victorian era it was honorable to get a burial place here. The most famous grave is the grave of Karl Marx. There are 170,000 resting on the necropolis among the picturesque park, including the painter Lucien Freud, the writer George Eliot, and other famous figures of literature.

The poisoned Russian Alexander Litvinenko was also buried in a prestigious cemetery in London. Because of the high radioactivity of his body, he rests in a lead coffin.

Bonaventure. Savannah. USA

Bonaventure

A rural cemetery lurks on the picturesque cliff of the Wilmington River. At first the unremarkable necropolis became famous in 1994 when it was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, based on the novel of the same name.

Today it is one of the city’s largest burial grounds, covering an area of 160 acres. At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a huge “Gaston’s tomb. It traces its history back to 1846. In 1867, John Muir, traveling across the United States, spent all his money. When he arrived in Savannah, he lived in the cemetery for six days and six nights, after which he wrote one of the books, Camping in the Tombs.

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In 1997, it received historic landmark status and is now open to tourists from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

South Park Street. Calcutta. India

South Park Street

Founded in 1767, this cemetery is now surrounded by verdant thickets. It is the resting place of officials and rulers from the colonial period of the Indian era.

Located on Mother Teresa Sarani Street, the path was formerly known as the Gravedigger’s Road. Once burial began here, the cemetery became one of the largest outside the spread of the Christian faith and the largest extra-church cemetery. In 1830 they stopped burying there and now South Park Street is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Famous figures of the colonial period are buried there, and there are massive monuments and highly artistic sculptures over the graves. From the epitaphs one can study the history and life of the city.

Recoleta. Buenos Aires. Argentina

Recoleta

The necropolis of Buenos Aires houses the elite of Argentine society, famous families and famous personalities of the country. It was founded in 1822.

It was the last resting place for the personalities of the golden era, when, between 1822 and 1930, Buenos Aires was considered the richest city in the world. The cemetery itself is part of a huge architectural and historical district. The name of the district came from the monastery. In this part of the city lived the richest people of the country, officials, artists and scientists. After their deaths they all rest in the eternal silence of the “Ricolet”.

Necropolis Argentina

The Necropolis, according to most-beauty.ru, is a true museum of Argentina’s past. The majestic “City of the Dead” helps foreigners understand the soul of the Latin American state.

The Mount of Olives. Jerusalem. Israel

Mount of Olives. CC0

The most expensive necropolis in the world is located in the heart of Jerusalem. The age of the first tombs exceeds 2,500 years.

The mountain is also called the Mount of Olives, because of Jesus’ famous sermon with that name. The cemetery occupies the southern and western slopes of the sacred mountain. Nowadays there are very few burials on it, but it can rightly be considered as the oldest of the cemeteries that now exist. It is believed that it is on top of this mountain that the Messiah will ascend, blow the trumpet, and the dead will rise from their graves.

Jews try to make a pilgrimage to the holy place, and tourists visit the necropolis to get in touch with history. Famous prophets, victims of Jewish pogroms, and Jews who wished to be buried at the religious shrine all rest here.

Abney Park. London. England

Abney Park

In the early eighteenth century, Lady Mary Abney and Dr. Isaac Watson created a beautiful park in this part of London. In 1840 they started to bury here the famous inhabitants of the English capital.

It received its name in honor of Thomas Abney, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1700-1701. His house stood on the spot, but it was demolished in 1830. The municipal authorities had long disagreed with the status of the burial ground, but by 1880 all legal and financial disputes had been settled.

Now it is a nature reserve, where everyone can come. A great place, where among the old graves and majestic century-old trees to reflect on the meaning of life.

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Okunoin. Koya-San. Japan

Okunoin

Japan’s oldest necropolis is a sacred place for every Japanese. UNESCO has listed Okunoin as a World Heritage Site.

The first temple there was erected by monk Kobo Daishi back in the IX century, and today there are 117 cultural and religious buildings on the sacred site. In each of them tourists and pilgrims can stay overnight. Around the temple complex began to bury Buddhist monks.

Okunoin. Koya San

Under the branches of the majestic cedars rest more than 200,000 monks. In addition, memorials to Japan’s illustrious warlords have been erected on the grounds. In 2011, a monument was erected in memory of those who died in the earthquake.

American Military Cemetery. Normandy. France

American Military Cemetery. CC0

The austerity and minimalism of the military cemetery makes you think about peace, preventing world wars. American soldiers who died during World War II are buried there.

A total of 9,388 graves are located in the vast area. Above each soldier is a simple white cross. Soldiers of other faiths were given special crosses. The monuments under which Jewish Americans lie are marked with Stars of David.

The first burials appeared at the site on June 8, 1944. Americans who died during the Normandy landings were buried there. It was a temporary measure. It was planned with time to transfer the dead to their homeland, but then the temporary graves became a memorial for the dead.

Novodevichy. Moscow. Russia

Novodevichy. Moscow

Behind the walls of the Novodevichy monastery there is a cemetery where famous Russian politicians, artists, athletes and clergymen are buried.

In 1525 the monastery was founded and nuns were buried near it. In modern times, the history of the cemetery dates back to 1904. It has been rebuilt and expanded several times, and now it occupies an area of almost 7.6 hectares. According to the plan, there are two large necropolis – the old and new. At the old graves are buried famous writers, poets, and artists. On the new one rests famous personalities of the Soviet era and the new Russia.

The largest “city of the dead” in Moscow remains active and has become an important tourist attraction on the map of the Russian capital.

New York Woodlon. USA

New York Woodlon. CC0

Perhaps this is one of the most architecturally expressive cemeteries in the world. And all because the land here is very expensive and only rich people could afford a place in the cemetery. Especially expensive land was in the areas of most traffic.

Woodlawn Cemetery in New York

In addition to the usual tombstones, there are a lot of mausoleums. Some of them are made in the form of copies of famous architectural structures with many beautiful sculptures. People built themselves mausoleums while they were still alive, so they tried to make them expensive and beautiful. Perhaps this is one of the cemeteries that every architect would be happy to visit.

Conclusion

The most beautiful cemeteries. CC0

Cemeteries are very curious and attractive places, especially when you are young. We’ve only described 15, but Loren Rhodes’ book is called 199 Cemeteries You Should See Before You Die. The novel is mostly philosophical, but travel companies offer such itineraries to unusual and beautiful necropolises for the living. The editorial staff of most-beauty.ru asks you to write in the comments which beautiful cemeteries you liked the most. And if we missed no less beautiful resting places, write us about them.

Below we will present some more pictures of beautiful cemeteries:

The most amazing and beautiful cemeteries in the world

No one is surprised that visits to cemeteries are included in the excursion programs in many cities of the world. At the same time cemeteries themselves can sometimes surprise – tourists who appreciate architecture and unusual works of art, as well as quiet, contemplative rest, find a lot of interesting things for themselves in local cemeteries. We publish here a list of the most surprising and beautiful, in our opinion, cemeteries around the world.

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1. Père Lachaise Cemetery, France, Paris

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, France, Paris

Today this cemetery in the east of Paris is probably the most famous cemetery in the world. During the year it is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists. However, it was not always like this: in 1804, when the authorities allocated a place for it, Parisians did not want to bury their relatives there just because of its low fame. The Paris City Hall took an unprecedented step: the ashes of the writer Molière and two legendary lovers, Abelard and Heloise, were moved to Père-Lachaise. Since then, many world-famous people have found their last shelter here – Honore de Balzac, Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Marcel Marceau and many other figures of literature and art, as well as famous politicians.

The most beautiful and amazing cemeteries in the world: Pere Lachaise Cemetery

2. Arlington National Cemetery, USA

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, USA

The largest military cemetery in the world is located in Arlington, a suburb of the U.S. capital Washington. In addition to participants in wars and various military conflicts that the U.S. has fought around the world since 1865, presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and American astronauts are buried in Arlington Cemetery. The cemetery covers an area of almost three square kilometers and currently has about 300,000 burials.

Arlington National Cemetery

3. Pok Fu Lam Terrace Cemetery (Pok Fu Lam), China, Hong Kong

Pok Fu Lam Terrace Cemetery, China, Hong Kong

A Chinese Christian cemetery on the west side of Hong Kong Island in the shape of an amphitheatre. The overcrowded, rocky Hong Kong Island area prevented the expansion of the Pok Fu Lam Cemetery, which was founded in 1882, so Hong Kong Christians were forced to build terraced burial grounds on the mountainside, connecting them with alleyways and side streets. Over time, the cemetery began to resemble a giant outdoor amphitheater. Some of the graves are made with great artistic finesse.

Pok Fu Lam Terrace Cemetery, China

4. Neptune Memorial Reef (Neptune Memorial Reef), USA.

Neptune Memorial Reef, USA

The only underwater cemetery and crematorium in the world is an artificial reef off the U.S. east coast. It is the final resting place of those who were in some way connected with the sea – divers, sailors. The underwater territory of the reef occupies an area of 65,000 m2. The most famous burial – 86-year-old Edith Hink, a resident of Naples. Her relatives decided that Edith loved the sea enough to deserve to be buried in it.

Neptune Memorial Reef

5. Dargavs, “city of the dead”, Russia, North Ossetia

An ancient necropolis near the mountainous Ossetian village of Dargavs. There are 97 stone vaults, mostly in the form of pointed towers. According to legend, during an epidemic of plague in the XIV century, people came here by themselves, built crypts and waited for death. The necropolis is located on Mount Rabinyrang, which offers a picturesque panorama of the Caucasus Mountains.

6. Cementerio de La Recoleta Cemetery, Argentina

Cementerio de La Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery), Argentina

One of the most visited places in the capital of Argentina and one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It contains the graves of many Argentine presidents and other celebrities, the most famous of which is the grave of Eva Perón, a legendary woman especially revered in Latin America. Eva Perón was an actress, the wife of the president of Argentina Juan Domingo Perón, and was herself much involved in politics. The cemetery is part of the National Museum of History. Among the sculptures in the cemetery there are many authentic works of art declared as national cultural and historical patrimony.

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Cementerio de La Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery), Argentina

7. “Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania

This strange “merry” cemetery was created in the 1930s by a distinctive local artist, Stan Ioan Patra. The crosses and wooden tombstones are decorated with humorous inscriptions and drawings in the genre of primitivism, depicting episodes of life (and sometimes death) of the buried, telling of their virtues and little weaknesses. As the artist believed, the joyful attitude toward death was a legacy of the Dacians, the ancestors of modern Romanians, who believed that death was only a transition to a better life.

8. Lychakiv Cemetery, Ukraine, Lviv

Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv, Ukraine

The cemetery was founded in 1786 by Emperor of Austria-Hungary Joseph II, who prohibited burying people in the city limits. Further fate of the city cemetery is unusual – in the XIX century it became a favorite place for walks and romantic dates of the citizens of Lviv, and in the XX century it became a place of pilgrimage of tourists. People are attracted by the great number (about 400,000) of sculptures, crypts and tombstones with inscriptions in Polish, German, Ukrainian, Russian, Hebrew, Latin, Armenian and some other languages of residents of international Lviv. Many of the monuments are monuments of art, Lychakiv Cemetery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Lychakiv Cemetery, Ukraine.

9. Wadi-us-Salaam (Wadi-us-Salaam), Iraq, An-Najaf

Wadi-us-Salaam, Najaf, Iraq

The largest Islamic cemetery in the world and one of the largest cemeteries in the world. At an area of 6 km2 there are about five million burials. Many Muslim prophets are buried here, near the tomb of Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, the “Fourth Imam,” a shrine revered by Muslims worldwide.

Wadi-us-Salaam, Iraq

10. “The hanging coffins of Sagada, Philippines

According to scientists, the mountain cemetery of the “hanging coffins” exists on the Philippine island of Luzon more than two thousand years. People of the Sogadian people bury their dead here. Now Sogadians are Christians, converted to the Catholic faith by the Spanish colonialists, but they refuse to commit the dead to the ground. Coffins hollowed out of solid timbers are prepared while the person is still alive, most often by the person himself, and if for some reason he cannot finish the work, the coffin is hollowed out by his relatives and friends. The ritual of burial includes a complicated procedure of taking the coffin with the body of the deceased to the cemetery located high in the mountains, on steep cliffs and fastening it on the rock. This is perhaps the most unusual cemetery on our list.

11. Sucre’s General Cemetery, Bolivia

Main Cemetery of Sucre

The main cemetery of the city of Sucre is the most prestigious in Bolivia; the family of the deceased has to pay $10,000 for burial. However, with this money, the deceased stays in a special vault, a kind of pantheon, for seven years, and only after that is moved into the ground, into a regular grave. True, not forever, but for the next twenty years, after which the grave is completely removed, there are many who wish to be buried in the cemetery in Sucre. Many Bolivian presidents are buried here, including Hilarion Daza, the infamous initiator of the war with Chile, after which Bolivia lost its access to the Pacific coast.

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