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stone and dust

travel, photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other dark sites

Site 178: Rome’s Pantheon

Rome has no shortage of ancient structures worth visiting, and the Pantheon is one of them. Originally built between 133-125 CE, it was converted into a Christian Church in the 7th century, and, unlike many of the other buildings and ruins scattered Continue reading “Site 178: Rome’s Pantheon”

Site 176: Rome’s Non-Catholic Cemetery

How lovely it is to be in Rome in late March. The weather is warm and sunny, the trees and flowers are in bloom, and the tourists are not overwhelming. Rome, of course, is no stranger to tourists, having been art of nearly every tourist’s European tour for Continue reading “Site 176: Rome’s Non-Catholic Cemetery”

Site 175: Rome’s Verano Monumental Cemetery

When and if a cemetery in Rome gets mentioned, it’s usually the Non-Catholic Cemetery, where Keats and Shelley are buried, that get the attention. The Verano Cemetery, on the other hand, rarely seems to make any list, and it’s a shame, for Continue reading “Site 175: Rome’s Verano Monumental Cemetery”

Site 171: Chernobyl (Part 1: Villages)

I don’t know when I first thought about visiting Chernobyl – I think it’s been on my mind for years, probably from the first time I saw photos of the abandoned buildings in Pripyat. I remember when the accident was first announced to the world – Continue reading “Site 171: Chernobyl (Part 1: Villages)”

Site 169: Kraków-Płaszów Concentration Camp

Today I went to Oskar Schindler’s old enamelware factory that’s now a museum. It was by far the best museum that I’ve been to so far on this trip. The exhibits, explanations, (real) photos, all worked together to give a snapshot into what was life was like in Continue reading “Site 169: Kraków-Płaszów Concentration Camp”

Site 167: Auschwitz-Birkenau

This is a hard one to write about. What do you write about the most infamous concentration camp in history? Over 1.1 million people died here. Most of them were Jews. In fact, one out of every 6 Jews who died in the Holocaust died here. Continue reading “Site 167: Auschwitz-Birkenau”

Site 163: Warsaw’s Jewish Cemetery

After visiting the Jewish cemetery in Lublin, I wasn’t sure what to expect here. Would it be the same, overgrown with weeds and leaves and mostly in a neglected state, or would it be like some of the others I’ve been to, crowded but well-maintained? In a way, Continue reading “Site 163: Warsaw’s Jewish Cemetery”

Site 162: Warsaw’s Protestant Reformed Cemetery

Like the Lutheran Cemetery next door, this Calvinist one was also founded in 1792, and saw lots of fighting during various uprisings over the centuries since (cemetery walls make good defences for fighting). It too, sustained a lot of damage, but has been repaired Continue reading “Site 162: Warsaw’s Protestant Reformed Cemetery”

Site 161: Warsaw’s Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery

Warsaw’s Powazki and Jewish Cemeteries are large and well-known, but there are several other, smaller cemeteries right next door to them as well. One of them is the Lutheran Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery, established just two years after Powazki. Continue reading “Site 161: Warsaw’s Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery”

Site 160: Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery

In my research for Warsaw, the one cemetery that kept coming up was Powązki Cemetery, one I had never heard of. I’ve never seen it in a top ten or twenty list, I don’t recognize any of the statues that come up in Google searches. And I don’t know why. Continue reading “Site 160: Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery”

Site 159: Majdanek Concentration Camp

Back when I was a second-year university student, I did a year-long course called the History of Antisemitism. Out of all the history classes I took over the course of my studies, that one probably affected me the most. The first term focused on history Continue reading “Site 159: Majdanek Concentration Camp”

Site 158: The Jewish Cemetery of Łódź

Back in the 19th century, the Polish city of Łódź flourished. Immigrants were invited from all over Europe, and soon the city was a mix of Polish, German, and Jewish inhabitants. The textile industry was the mainstay of the city, and many of the former Continue reading “Site 158: The Jewish Cemetery of Łódź”

Site 156: The First Cemetery of Athens

Marble. Smooth. White. Sparkling. I’ve never seen so much marble in a cemetery before. Old graves, new graves – all marble. In fact, I think this cemetery must be about 99% marble (I just made that up, but it sure seems like it). I’m used to seeing marble used for Continue reading “Site 156: The First Cemetery of Athens”

Site 153: Fukushima Exclusion Zone

Every generation it seems, lives through some life- or world-changing events in their lifetime, whether it be wars, assassinations, shootings, trials and resignations, hijackings, or terrorist attacks. For me, so far they’ve been the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Continue reading “Site 153: Fukushima Exclusion Zone”

Site 152: Ishinomaki

3/11. It may not be as famous as 9/11, but at least here in Japan, it’s a day that will never be forgotten. The triple disaster of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the tsunami that followed, and the explosion at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are all events that Continue reading “Site 152: Ishinomaki”

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