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stone and dust

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

Site 184: Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is probably the most well-known of Edinburgh’s cemeteries, and thus was the first stop of the day for me. It was already full of tourists – both individuals and large groups – by the time I arrived. Like many of the more famous cemeteries Continue reading “Site 184: Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard”

Site 183: Birmingham’s Coffinworks Museum

So, you’ve built a coffin or a casket, but what next? Basically all you have is a wooden box. There is no lining, no handles, no decoration. Who do turn to for all this stuff (known as coffin furniture)? Enter the Coffin Works. These were businesses that Continue reading “Site 183: Birmingham’s Coffinworks Museum”

Site 182: Birmingham’s Key Hill Cemetery

The oldest cemetery in Birmingham* was only a block or two away from Warstone Lane Cemetery, and when I arrived I was greeted with a riot of colour. Being spring, all the bluebells were in bloom across the UK, but it was here that I was bombarded with, Continue reading “Site 182: Birmingham’s Key Hill Cemetery”

Site 181: Birmingham’s Warstone Lane Cemetery

With a few days in Birmingham for a conference, I used my free day to go cemetery exploring and the first one I visited was the Warstone Lane Cemetery. This is a lovely cemetery on a small hill in the Jewellery Quarter of the city. Big grey clouds threatened Continue reading “Site 181: Birmingham’s Warstone Lane Cemetery”

Site 180: 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 180: Rome’s Pantheon”

Site 179: Rome War Cemetery

As I was planning my trip to the Non-Catholic Cemetery, I noticed that another cemetery was in very close vicinity, the Rome War Cemetery. This is a Commonwealth cemetery of WWII graves that lies alongside the old Aurelian walls of Ancient Rome. Continue reading “Site 179: Rome War Cemetery”

Site 178: 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 178: Rome’s Non-Catholic Cemetery”

Site 177: Rome’s Campo Verano

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 177: Rome’s Campo Verano”

Site 176: Chernobyl (Day 4)

My final day in Chernobyl (and Ukraine) started grey and drizzly. M had scheduled a tour for me inside the Chernobyl Power Plant, but it didn’t start until mid-morning, so we went exploring Chernobyl Town (for which the power plant was named). The town is Continue reading “Site 176: Chernobyl (Day 4)”

Site 175: Chernobyl (Day 3)

My third day in the exclusion zone started bright and sunny. Today we were headed to the Duga-1 radar array, also known as the Russian Woodpecker. It was built in 1976 as a way to detect any missles that might come over the horizon from the U.S. Now, satellite Continue reading “Site 175: Chernobyl (Day 3)”

Site 174: Chernobyl (Day 2)

Pripyat. If there is a by-word for what the world would look like if people disappeared suddenly, this town is it. Thirty-six hours after Reactor 4 exploded, the people of Pripyat were finally evacuated. This was a coordinated effort that had the entire population Continue reading “Site 174: Chernobyl (Day 2)”

Site 173: Chernobyl (Day 1)

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 173: Chernobyl (Day 1)”

Site 172: Kyiv’s Pechersk Lavra

Another World Heritage Site in Kyiv in the Larva Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Caves. This is a huge complex with its own cathedral, numerous churches, a belltower, and various other buildings. However, what it is really known Continue reading “Site 172: Kyiv’s Pechersk Lavra”

Site 171: Kyiv’s Baikove Cemetery

Before coming to Kiev I hadn’t really heard or read of any major cemeteries in the city (of course not – the much darker site of Chernobyl to the north would draw most visitors). But a quick Google search led to me Baikove, which is the city’s Continue reading “Site 171: Kyiv’s Baikove Cemetery”

Site 170: Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral

Ukraine’s first World Heritage site is well worthy of the distinction. I headed here on my first day in Kiev and it really was an impressive place to visit. It was after The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (then Constantinople), and has 13 green cupolas. The interior, Continue reading “Site 170: Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral”

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