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stone and dust

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

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Rachelle M

Revisiting Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise. I didn’t know the names of many cemeteries way back when, but I knew about Paris’ most famous cemetery. After I first moved to France in 2006, the first place I visited was Paris, and on a drizzly Sunday when too many things were Continue reading “Revisiting Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery”

2019: Looking Back at a Dark Year

This has been an interesting year for me. I mentioned at the beginning of the year that this would be a dark one, visiting sites beyond cemeteries associated with death and disaster. It turned out to be darker than I envisioned, as I visited places considered Continue reading “2019: Looking Back at a Dark Year”

Iconic Statue: The Kiss of Death

In many modern cemeteries the spectre of death is all but erased from our visual field. Unlike older cemeteries, it is rare to see depictions of death, whether it be skull and crossbones, skeletons, and other macabre symbols. Yet one of the most spectacular Continue reading “Iconic Statue: The Kiss of Death”

Site 209: Halabja Cemetery

Following our visit to the Halabja Memorial, we made our way across town to the cemetery where many of the victims of the chemical attack are buried. The first thing we noticed was the sign that forbids any members of Saddam Hussein’s party from entering Continue reading “Site 209: Halabja Cemetery”

Site 208: Iraq’s Halabja Memorial

March 16, 1988. Bloody Friday. That was the day the worst chemical attack against a civilian population was carried out. The Iran-Iraq War was drawing to an end, but the Al-Anfal campaign by the Iraqi Government to eradicate the Kurds was still ongoing. Two days after the town Continue reading “Site 208: Iraq’s Halabja Memorial”

Site 207: Sulaymaniyah’s Red Prison

If Iraqi Kurdistan has a well-known site, besides Erbil Citadel, it is Sulaymaniyah’s Amna Suraka Prison, aka the Red Prison. It’s so named because of the colour of the bricks that the buildings were constructed of. From 1986 until 1991, when the prison was overtaken, Continue reading “Site 207: Sulaymaniyah’s Red Prison”

Site 206: Iraq’s Rabban Hormizd Monastery

Travelling through the ‘Stans was like walking through a living history book, but going to Iraqi Kurdistan meant going back in time further still. In terms of religions, there were  Zoroastrians, Yadzidis, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and even early on in my trip, Continue reading “Site 206: Iraq’s Rabban Hormizd Monastery”

Site 205: Dushanbe’s Russian Cemetery

After several weeks of travelling the ‘Stans with groups of various sizes, on our last full day in Tajikistan I decided to take the afternoon off from touring and went for a walk to explore the city that, surprise, surprise, led me to a very large Russian cemetery Continue reading “Site 205: Dushanbe’s Russian Cemetery”

Site 204: The Mausoleum of St. Daniel

Today we visited one of the lesser visited sites in Samarkand, the tomb of the prophet Daniel. Daniel is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Apparently though, there is more than one resting place for Daniel – one of the members of my group Continue reading “Site 204: The Mausoleum of St. Daniel”

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