I like to visit cemeteries when I travel, always seeking out old tombstones, unique mausoleums, and lovely park-like settings. I've had a few related posts to this theme: Check out:
Halloween Haunts and Tombstone Tours,
31 Places Around the World to Go for Halloween: Real & Creepy,
Cemeteries Hold Parties to Die For
Day of the Dead Chocolate
In many cultures and religions, cemeteries (from the Greek koimeterion or Latin coemeterium, meaning sleeping place) are used for death ceremonies, burial, mourning, and memorial. Unusual or historical cemeteries have also become popular tourist attractions-- cemetery tourism, the ‘dark’ side of tourism, is a growing phenomenon around the world. I don't find this odd at all since people used to congregate in cemeteries on weekend afternoons for picnics.
Today's List of Top 10 Unusual Cemeteries is from Timeea Vinerean at Toptenz.
10. World’s First Public Pet Cemetery: Cimetiere Des Chiens. a cemetery for dogs and other domestic animals, is said to be the world’s oldest public pet cemetery. Asnières-sur-Seine, Paris, France. Opened in 1899. The most famous gravestone belongs to Rin Tin Tin, the legendary American dog that starred in various Hollywood movies.
9. Highway to Hell? Stull Cemetery. Located in Kansas, this cemetery has gained the reputation as one of the world’s most haunted cemeteries. There are so many legends, stories of witchcraft, ghosts and supernatural happenings surrounding it that even Pope John Paul II allegedly ordered his private jet not to fly over Stull while he was on the way to a public appearance in Colorado in 1995. The Pope considered Stull “unholy ground”.
8. Winchester Geese: Cross Bones Graveyard. Traditionally called the Single Women’s Graveyard, dates back to medieval times. It was the final resting place for prostitutes (locally known as the Winchester Geese) working in London’s legalized brothels.
Tudor historian John Stow wrote in his 1603 Survey Of London: “These single women were forbidden the rites of the church, so long as they continued that sinful life, and were excluded from Christian burial, if they were not reconciled before their death. And therefore there was a plot of ground called the Single Woman’s churchyard, appointed for them far from the parish church.”
7. Natural Mummies from Mother Nature: La Chiesa dei Morti, The Church of the Dead, Urbania, Italy. Inside lies the Cemetery of the Mummies, which was built in 1833. Famous for its strange phenomenon of natural mummification. According to specialists, the process is caused by a particular mold that has absorbed moisture from the corpses leading to the complete desiccation of the bodies.
6. The Mafia Cemetery. Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery. In the 1990s, Yekaterinburg was known as ‘The crime capital of Russia.’ Many of the leaders of the Russian Mafia lived there and Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery was the final resting place for many of them. Very expensive tombs, black marble, precious stones, laser-engraved images and life-size granite gravestones are common here.
5. The World’s First Underwater Cemetery: Neptune Memorial Reef (aka the Atlantis Memorial Reef or the Atlantis Reef) World’s first underwater mausoleum for cremated remains and the world’s largest man-made reef. Opened in 2007, off the coast of Miami Beach.
4. The Merry Cemetery. Northern Romania. Merry Cemetery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Atypical design of the tombstones, which are painted by hand in vivid colors, such as red, blue, green, and yellow. Tombstones are big crosses sculpted from oak wood, engraved with funny epitaphs briefly describing the life or the circumstances in which these persons passed away.
2. Mysterious Hanging Coffins of China. Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province. Hanging coffins is an ancient funeral custom found only in Asia: there are hanging coffins in China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Some coffins are cantilevered out on wooden stakes, while some lay on rock projections. Other coffins are simply placed in caves. The hanging coffins of the Bo people in Gongxian, Sichuan Province, the Guyue people of Dragon Tiger Mountain and the Guyue people of Wuyi Mountain are the most famous. The Wuyi Mountain coffins are the oldest; some are more than 3,750 years old.
Read more, HERE.
Hat Tip: Bill Crider
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