stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments

Site 114: Barcelona’s Poblenou Cemetery

Barcelona. Home of two of the world’s best cemeteries, Poblenou and Montjuïc. I have wanted to come to Spain to photograph these two cemeteries specifically. After grabbing a quick lunch after arriving in Barcelona, my first (and only) stop of the day was Poblenou.  Continue reading “Site 114: Barcelona’s Poblenou Cemetery”

Site 113: Madrid’s Santa Maria Cemetery

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Santa Maria Cemetery. It was less than a five minute walk from St. Isidro, and had the added benefit of being open later than the other cemeteries, but other than that I didn’t know much about it. It’s inside St. Isidro park, and next to a funeral home Continue reading “Site 113: Madrid’s Santa Maria Cemetery”

Site 112: Madrid’s St. Isidro Cemetery

The forecast called for sun this afternoon, but in the end, I visited two cemeteries in the rain. I would have visited more, but I planned (or in this case, didn’t plan) badly. I assumed that most cemeteries would be open until at least 4 p.m. (but most likely 6), but I was wrong. Continue reading “Site 112: Madrid’s St. Isidro Cemetery”

Site 111: Spain’s Valley of the Fallen

Last month I went to a Dark Tourism conference in Amsterdam where I saw a number of presentations from people studying various aspects of what is commonly known as “dark tourism,” although most sites under that umbrella don’t like to be considered as such Continue reading “Site 111: Spain’s Valley of the Fallen”

Site 110: San Lorenzo de El Escorial

I visited two sites today, ones that are closely linked in distance, but not in spirit: the royal burial site of El Escorial and the monumental church/burial place at the Valley of the Fallen, raised by former dictator Francisco Franco. I don’t normally join tours, Continue reading “Site 110: San Lorenzo de El Escorial”

Site 109: Madrid’s Almudena Cemetery

Welcome to the Cementerio de Nuestra Señora de La Almudena, one of the largest cemeteries in Europe. I spent the afternoon here and even then I barely scratched the surface. I’m not sure how to describe this cemetery – there are large gates and fences that leave Continue reading “Site 109: Madrid’s Almudena Cemetery”

Site 108: Lisbon’s Pantheon

The 17th-century Church of Santa Engrácia became Lisbon’s pantheon in the 20th century in order to honour the country’s most illustrious people. It’s located in the Almafa district of the city, an area full of tiny winding streets that go up pretty steeply up the hill. Continue reading “Site 108: Lisbon’s Pantheon”

Site 106: Lisbon’s Prazeres Cemetery

So the Pleasure Cemetery (Prazeres in Portuguese) lies in the west of the city (or what used to be the west), and is the twin the Cemetery of Alto de São João in the east. At first glance, they do seem very similar – both on enviable hillside locations, both full of family mausoleums, Continue reading “Site 106: Lisbon’s Prazeres Cemetery”

Site 104: Lisbon’s Cemitério do Alto de São João

Back in 1833 a cholera epidemic ravaged the city, and Queen Maria II ordered the establishments of two cemeteries to deal with the dead – Prazeres in the west, and São João in the east. Since the latter was the closest to where I am staying in Lisbon, I decided to head here first. Continue reading “Site 104: Lisbon’s Cemitério do Alto de São João”

Site 98: The Hague’s St. Petrus Banden Cemetery

As readers of this blog will probably realize, I prefer going to older cemeteries, not only for the older monuments and atmosphere, but also because it means I won’t interfere with any modern-day mourners who are there to grieve for their loved ones. Continue reading “Site 98: The Hague’s St. Petrus Banden Cemetery”

Site 97: Delft’s Ould & Nieuw Kerks

The one thing about old European churches is that they were once the burial places of the rich and famous. And still today, in the case of royalty. Delft is a beautiful old city that is also bright and lively and modern at the same time. And its centre is dominated by two very old churches, the Ould Kerk and the Nieuwe Kerk. Continue reading “Site 97: Delft’s Ould & Nieuw Kerks”

Site 96: Antwerp’s Schoonselhof Cemetery

How many cemeteries have their own castle? Schoonselhof does, although it was initially a country pleasure house (and still looks that way, if not worse for wear). Between 1540 and 1871 it had 20 owners, but when the last died a bachelor, the city eventually bought it with intent of making it a municipal cemetery. Continue reading “Site 96: Antwerp’s Schoonselhof Cemetery”

Site 95: Tyne Cot Cemetery

The biggest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. During our tour of the Ypres battlefields, we weren’t quite circling around it, but everywhere we went we could see it in the distance. The cemeteries and other sites we visited were leading up to this one, following the history of the war, from the first two battles of Ypres, to the final battles at Passchendaele. Continue reading “Site 95: Tyne Cot Cemetery”

Site 94: Langemark German War Cemetery

There are always at least two sides in every war, but one thing that is common to both is having to deal with the dead. Cemeteries and other mass graves spring up out of a matter of necessity. In my previous post I mentioned how many small cemeteries I saw from the train window as we approached Ieper, I did not mention how all of them were from the Allied Continue reading “Site 94: Langemark German War Cemetery”

Site 93: Ypres’ Essex Farm Cemetery

Sitting on the train from Kortrijk, the flat Belgian countryside rolls by much like any other. But the small military cemeteries, easily spotted with their white, uniform headstones, are what quickly jolts you into reality that this is the place where upon countless numbers of people were killed, Continue reading “Site 93: Ypres’ Essex Farm Cemetery”

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