Necro-tourism is now a trend. Cemeteries are now part of tourism and cultural circuits, serving as an example of the culture, history, and architectural heritage of a country. Today we are going on a trip around the world to see a few that you should see.
Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
We had to start with the most famous cemetery in the world, which is the biggest in Paris and one of the most visited too. Built at the beginning of the 19th century, walking through it is like taking a tour though every style of funeral art.
Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale) in Milan
Considered a true open-air museum, its “Hall of Fame”, or Famedio, as well as its mausoleums and tombs include works of art of great value.
More than 100,000 soldiers of many nationalities who fell during the landing that was the beginning of the end of World War II have been laid to rest in the 27 military cemeteries in the region of Normandy.
The biggest military cemetery in the world has more than 320,000 tombs of American soldiers. It is an never-ending succession of white tombstones, among which we can also find the Kennedy family vault.
Contemporary cemetery architecture
Hofheide Crematorium, Belgium, RCR Architects
The winners of the 2018 Pritzker Prize are the architects of this modern Belgian crematorium, which is so perfectly integrated into its surroundings that it seems as if it rises up from the earth itself.
San Cataldo Cemetery, Italy, Aldo Rossi
Also known as “The House of the Dead”, this is one of the most well-known works of this Italian architect. It is one of the best examples of his metaphysical architecture, which makes the visitor confront the idea of death.
Cemeteries in nature
Koya mountain is home to one of the biggest cemeteries in the world but, according to the beliefs of the Shingon School of Buddhism, there are no bodies in the 200,000 tombs at Okunoin, just waiting spirits.
Tana Toraja, Indonesia
In the Indonesian region of Tana Toraja, funerals are big celebrations that bring the whole village together. For burial, they choose caves or excavated holes in the rocks of the hillside, which are reminiscent of the hanging cemeteries in the Philippines and China.
Cemeteries in technicolour
The cemetery known as the “happy” cemetery in Sapanta is dominated by electric blue and the tombstones have multicoloured scenes that represent the life or death of the deceased person, along with satirical rhymes.
The colourful vaults of this Guatemalan city use certain colours to honour the memory of the dead: white for fathers, turquoise for mothers, pink for girls, pale blue for boys, and yellow for grandparents, or perhaps just the favourite colour of the deceased.