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stone and dust

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

Site 166: Kraków’s Rakowicki Cemetery

Just north of Kraków’s main station lies a large cemetery known as Rakowicki. Before coming here I had never heard of it, I guess in part because so much of Kraków’s history is more tied to WWII and the Holocaust. On a very changeable morning (from rain Continue reading “Site 166: Kraków’s Rakowicki Cemetery”

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 157: Athen’s Kerameikos Cemetery

You know on a visit to Greece that you’ll across some ancient monuments and cemeteries are no exception. Within walking distance of the Acropolis (in fact you can see it from many viewpoints within the cemetery), I found it a really interesting place to visit. Continue reading “Site 157: Athen’s Kerameikos Cemetery”

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 154: Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine

Perhaps the most controversial place in Japan is Yasukuni Shrine, located in the heart of Tokyo. It certainly didn’t start out that way – after the end of the Boshin War, a civil war between forces loyal to the shogunate and the emperor in 1868-69, the emperor Continue reading “Site 154: Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine”

Site 155: Tokyo’s Zōjō-ji Temple

Zojoji Temple is located in the heart of Tokyo, not far from Tokyo Tower, one of the more iconic symbols of Tokyo. I have been meaning to go here for some time as I knew this had a mausoleum in which six Shoguns were buried. However, I almost didn’t make it Continue reading “Site 155: Tokyo’s Zōjō-ji Temple”

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”

2019: Going Dark

I’ll be travelling a lot this year, mostly work-related, but as I began sorting out which places I wanted to go to, I realized that there will be quite a shift on this blog as I venture further away from cemeteries, and more towards what are commonly known as “dark” Continue reading “2019: Going Dark”

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