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stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments

Site 117: Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

Two girls were lying on the floor when I entered the basilica. Did they do it on purpose, or were they so overcome by the beauty of the light that enveloped every square inch of the interior that they lost control of their legs? It’s probably the former but I’d like to think Continue reading “Site 117: Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia”

Site 116: Cemetery Vilafranca del Penedès

I decided to do a day trip out of Barcelona but had a hard time deciding where to go. Girona, Figueres, Montserrat, and Stiges tend to be the most popular places, but by this stage in my travels my body was like “enough!” – which meant that by the time I actually Continue reading “Site 116: Cemetery Vilafranca del Penedès”

Site 115: Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cemetery

Wow wow wow. This place is amazing. I don’t why this isn’t considered a major tourist attraction, the funerary art and architecture here is stunning. It hits you right as you enter the main gate at the bottom of the hill, and continues right to the top of the mountain, Continue reading “Site 115: Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cemetery”

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 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 Continue reading “Site 106: Lisbon’s Prazeres Cemetery”

Site 105: Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery

With another really rainy day forecast, I thought I would try to go somewhere that would provide some measure of protection against the elements, which is how I ended up at at Lisbon’s Jeronimos Monastery (aka Hieronymites Monastery) early on Saturday morning. Continue reading “Site 105: Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery”

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 103: Porto’s Cemitério da Lapa

This is one of Porto’s private cemeteries that survived the ban on private ones in the 19th century. This was probably due not only to the wealthy who were buried here, but was also due to the fact that it was on higher ground, far away from most homes (at the time). However, Continue reading “Site 103: Porto’s Cemitério da Lapa”

Site 102: Porto’s Prado do Repouso

Plink plink. Plink plink plink. Plink. The rain was making music, as it hit one of many (lit) glass candles that were on the ground in front of the wall niches. It wasn’t a sound I had ever really heard before at a cemetery, but this sound followed me as I walked around the Continue reading “Site 102: Porto’s Prado do Repouso”

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