Saturday, October 15, 2016

Five Cemeteries I Would Love to Visit

Since my job requires a lot of travel, I've been expanding my horizons and making tons of lists of places I want to go and things I want to do while I'm there. Since my hotel and plane costs are covered by my company, this seems like the time to get out and do things (when I'm not busy. And I usually am, haha.)

Of course, my interests as a tourist are a little bit different than most people's, so for now, here is my list of five cemeteries I would love to visit.

1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery - California

Okay, to be frank here, I mostly want to go for one of their movie nights. I have a lot of interest in watching people reclaim a positive nature with death, and what could be better than watching movies in a cemetery with a group of friends? I'll just need to get to the West Coast sometime.

2. St. Roch Cemetery #1 - New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Roch is known for another modern burial practice that I find interesting--leaving seemingly ordinary objects on tombs. New Orleans cemeteries are truly incredible for the mixture of cultures that gave them birth, so the history in them tends to be truly rich and incredible. I'd love to walk around as many of them as I can.

3. Père Lachaise Cemetery - Paris, France

My only European pick on this list is Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris's largest cemetery. Burials began in the early nineteenth century, so picking your way through the cemetery you can find a lot of information about the evolution of burial practices throughout the decades and centuries. One day I'm going to make a trip out of seeing all the death sites in Paris, what a delightfully gruesome city.

4. Bonaventure Cemetery - Savannah Georgia 

As a lover of Southern Gothic literature and aesthetics, I feel like it's time to make a pilgrimage to one of the most incredibly beautiful cemeteries in the South. Bonaventure was featured on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and the delightful Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician has a video up talking a bit about her time in the cemetery.

5. General Cemetery of Guayaquil - Guayaquil, Ecuador 

Lastly, the cemetery that Historic Houston has called the most beautiful cemetery in South America, General Cemetery of Guayaquil. Also known as the White City, this cemetery is filled with incredible white marble architecture and monuments. It looks truly incredible in the photographs, and I would love to see for myself.

What cemeteries would you all love to visit? What are your favorites?


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  2. New Orleans is one of the best. Another good stop is any cemetery that has primarily Catholic burials; a lot of really ornate sculptures.
    Even is small towns 19th C. Cemeteries tend to have mausolei and sarcophagi in abundance. :)

  3. Movie night at a cemetery? I would so love to do this!
    There's a few beautiful cemeteries where I live, but Abney Park in Stoke Newington is my all-time favourite. I used to live close to it, so I'd visit it more often, and even now I still go there every now and again.

  4. The Savannah one is pretty awesome. It has all this Spanish moss and there's an agave plant that's pretty cool.

  5. The Père Lachaise one has been on my list for a long time as well. So many great artists and thinkers have been buried there, that it makes for a very interesting visit! Also, movie nights at a cemetary? How unusual and intriguing! I would definitely like to experience that myself one day :)

  6. If you haven't already been there: Cimitero di Staglieno in Genoa and the Cimitero Monumentale in Milan. Plan more than one day, for the Monumentale, especially.

  7. I have been to the one in Tombstone, Boothill Graveyard. Its sad, funny and rough.

  8. Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires!

  9. They look really nice - I'd like to visit them too, and Père Lachaise cemetery has been on my list for a while. I'd like to make two UK suggestions - London has seven great cemeteries, of which Highgate is the most popular (but you have to pay to visit). Glasgow Necropolis is also worth visiting, especially on a day with good weather when you can see the whole city.

    My favourite cemetery is Tomnahurich Cemetery, the city cemetery in Inverness; it winds up a wooded hill and is quite large (and still used) with plenty of interesting monuments and a nice view of the surrounding landscape, but it is not really a cemetery of internationally importance; it's just nice.

    Are you interested in visiting more ancient burial grounds, too?

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