Historically, cemeteries have been used for far more than burial grounds. They have been utilized as parks, picnic and meeting grounds and a source of pride and beauty for the communities in which they were placed. Families would come to celebrate birthdays and holidays in cemeteries leaving decorations and flowers in their wake.
This had led to some amazing cemeteries around the world that have become travel destinations and tourist attractions in their own right. Here are several of them.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris, France
At 110 acres, Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris and hosts some 3.5 million visitors per year. Along with a multitude of elaborate tombs there are several impressive monuments including one dedicated to foreign soldiers who died fighting for France in World War I and II, those who died in extermination camps, and a monument in homage to victims of aviation accidents. Famous occupants include Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison of the rock band “The Doors”. It is still an operating cemetery but getting buried here is a challenge as the cemetery has strict rules and there is currently a waiting list.
Okunoin in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Okunuon, as it is commonly referred to, is noted for its beautiful grounds and as home of the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, (known as Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism. He is the most revered person in Japan’s religious history. Rather than dying it is believed he is resting in eternal meditation. The cemetery is dotted with bridges of significance and exotic monuments. Torodo Hall contains more than 10,000 lanterns that are always kept lit.
Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel
The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives including the Silwan Necropolis, is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem. The first burials held here began over 3,000 years ago. Mount of Olives is mentioned often in the New Testament and is mentioned in the Book of Acts as the place where Jesus ascended into heaven.
Waverley Cemetery in Sydney, Australia
Frequently mentioned as the most beautiful cemetery in the world, Waverley Cemetery is located in Bronte, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Many noted Australians are buried here and it is known for its mostly intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments.
Bonaventure in Savannah, Georgia
This cemetery is noted partly for its beautiful location on a bluff along the Wilmington River just east of Savannah and the unique stories behind those buried here. It gained its fame when it was featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
By their nature, cemeteries are peaceful places of solitude. They can come to be appreciated for their beauty and history. The next time you travel, you may want to see what historical, beautiful cemeteries may be in the area worth a visit.
In your time of need or when pre-planning, we invite you to talk with us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory. We are proud to serve the families of Greater Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky area.