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stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments

Site 107: 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 107: Lisbon’s Prazeres Cemetery”

Site 106: 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 106: Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery”

Site 105: 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 105: Cemitério do Alto de São João”

Site 104: 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 104: Porto’s Cemitério da Lapa”

Site 103: The Catacombs of São Francisco

One of the most amazing interiors I have ever seen in a church is that of São Francisco’s in Porto. The carvings are astounding and it’s a place where you could just sit and observe and be awed. Over 100kg of gold leaf was used inside here, and at one point they closed the church Continue reading “Site 103: The Catacombs of São Francisco”

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”

Site 101: Porto’s Agramonte Cemetery

Today started wet and drizzly and it basically stayed that way all day. Still, I’m a fan of visiting (older) cemeteries in the rain, particularly old European ones (i.e. they don’t usually have a lot of grass – it’s mostly all stone, including the pathways). The rain always brings out more detail in the stones, Continue reading “Site 101: Porto’s Agramonte Cemetery”

Site 100: A dark walk through Amsterdam

After 2 days of listening to some very interesting presentations on dark tourist sites around the world (but mostly in Europe), I was eager to take a dark walk through Amsterdam with the conference’s organizer, Karel. He had custom-made a tour that focused on “darker” parts of Continue reading “Site 100: A dark walk through Amsterdam”

Site 99: Amsterdam’s Zorgvlied Cemetery

I didn’t have a lot of time in Amsterdam to go exploring cemeteries, but Zorgvlied seemed promising, so I thought I would go take a look. It’s one of the more famous cemeteries in Amsterdam, as many famous people, artists, and other celebrities are Continue reading “Site 99: Amsterdam’s Zorgvlied Cemetery”

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 Oude & 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 Continue reading “Site 97: Delft’s Oude & 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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