Cities of the Dead

The afterlife… What awaits us beyond the limits of our physical existence and our imagination is more or less a secret. The unknown.

01. Cemetery of the Capuchin Fathers, Rome, Italy (beneath the Church of the Immaculate Conception)

Like a place brought to life from grotesque stories… More than 4,000 skeletal remains believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their order stand next to the walls on display. The bones and skulls of the deceased monks are being used  for altars, out-of-this-world wall decorations, creepy chandeliers and hideous frescoes. Created to inspire people to prayer and meditation, it looks more like a terrifying sight that gives shivers to the visitors.

Described by Frommer’s as “one of the most horrifying images in all of Christendom“, but considered by Catholic order “a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth“.

Copyright © Orchard Lake

Copyright © John of Witney

Similar to this are the Sedlec Ossuary – Kutna Hora; The Church of the Dead, Urbania, Italy;

Czech Republic; Capuchin Catacombs – Palermo, Italy;

Copyright © Jonathan Blair and © Paradoxplace.com via National Geographic and Sacred Destinations

and the Gothic Capela dos Ossos Evora, Portugal.

Inscription at the entrance: “Our bones that are here wait for yours!”

 

02. Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania

The cemetery where people step to the other world with humor. One of the most bizarre cemeteries on Earth, well known and praised for its colorful and happy burial places. Strange, satirical poems and a wonderful sight of the peaceful blue paint, symbol of hope and freedom puts a smile on everyone’s face.

The tombs tell rhymed stories for the dead people and pictures depict activities they used to do or hobbies they used to  have  when they were alive. Some were shepherds, some soldiers, others loved parties and good life or writing poems.  Some pictures tell the story of their death: killed by thieves, car accidents… but in the funniest way… A museum of dark humor gravestones.

Weird Cemetery Romania

Weirdomatic Private Gallery, Copyright ©  Alexandra 

The epitaph of the artist who made the first tombstones of the cemetery

Since I was a little boy
I was known as Stan Ioan Patras
Listen to me, fellows
There are no lies in what I am going to say

All along my life
I meant no harm to anyone
But did good as much as I could
To anyone who asked

Oh, my poor World
Because It was hard living in it…

 



03. The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague

Not only sad, but extremely strange and crowded burial ground from Josefov dating back to 15th century. One of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, the impressive site is the home for eternity of more than 100.000 corpses with almost 12,000 visible tombstones crammed. Probably it’s also the most haunted…

Copyright © Paul Henri

I suppose a large part of the fascination of the Old Jewish Cemetery is how it is wedged into the modern city, a memento mori and a memento vitae. And of course, it is one of the saddest and eeriest urban sites I know.” ( “Prague Pictures A Portrait of the City.”  – John Banville)

Copyright © Josef Stuefer

 

04. Milan’s Monumental Cemetery

Like they just wake up from a long dream, like a real human being stopped to take a picture. Reverie. Motion. Love. Peace. A profound artistic atmosphere. An open air theater for the living statues and their dreams. Untold stories lie there for eternity.

Copyright © Cat

Weird Cemetery in Milan

Copyright © Dani

Copyright © Cat, Uri Baruchin  Patrick Morgan   

 

05. Garden of the last centuries thinkers – Paris’ Pere Lachaise, France

Fabulous statues also… but look a little creepier than the ones before. Most of them suggest not a simple sleep of this life, peaceful, but a new life after death in which everything is possible. Going beyond the limits of common: duplication, escape, heaviness, blindness, the unknown, fantasy. A place for artists – a lot of personalities like Moliere, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Chopin, Oscar Wilde.

Copyright © John Cohen & Shadowgate 

Picture 1 – Grim Reaper Tomb Stone and 3 – Grave of Oscar Wilde, Pere La Chaise, Copyright © The Planet TD, Picture 4 by Ariel

Copyright © Lawson Brannan 

 

06. Mexican Cemetery in the Mayan Village of Xcaret

A trip to the amazing past, a link with rituals and culture of the old times – the cemetery was build as a replica of the Ancient Mayan cities in the Yucatan peninsula (“palaces and temples in the center and the homes of the common people located in outlying areas” – via Xcaret Official Website) and, at the same time, as a wonderful expression for the cult of the dead.

Copyright © Mulf

Copyright © Tatiana Roza

Copyright © GemmaTatiana Roza: 1, 2, 3

 

07. Mafia Cemetery, Yekaterinburg, Russia (Via Luba’s Website)

The 2 strange Mafia cemeteries of Yekaterinburg (due to two major clans in 1990’s) – extravaganza and luxury for the afterlife. Passed away mobsters have their nicknames and specialty (e.g.: “judo sixth dan”) engraved on expensive, human-sized tombstones made of elegant black marble and their figures depict in a true gangster style the 1990’s period – bloody and dangerously rich: Mafia clothing, gold jewelry, their homes,  their Mercedes… transforming the black stones into unusual works of art.

Gangsters Cemetery in Russia

 

08. The Famous Hanging Coffins of China

Aiming for the heavens. An ancient funeral custom found only in some Asian countries, but mostly in China. The hanging coffins are fixed with wooden stakes or lay on rocks. Other coffins are simply placed inside caves in the mountain. (More info on China Culture)

Also met Indonesia and the Philippines.

Hanging Coffins Cemetery in Sagada, Philippines 

 

09. The Neptune Memorial Reef, Underwater Cemetery – Los Angeles, California, United States

Resting in peace under the sea has becom an option nowadays. A green burial site, a replica of the Lost City of Antlantis.

Copyright © Memorial Reef

 

10. Egyptian tombs, Valley of the Kings, Egypt – Tutankhamun’s Resting Place

Wonderful and colorful paintings and tons of precious artifacts, written guiding stories and everyday use things for the new life that was going to follow. Not fitted to his great importance, Tutankhamun’s tomb was hidden better than any other tomb inside the Valley of the Kings. A shrine dedicated to the cult of a divinity where a linen-wrapped mummy rests for eternity in its golden sarcophagus… or at least, used to rest.

Via Crystalinks

 



11. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province, China

Maybe it is still an enigma trying to be unleashed… but very  few people haven’t heard yet about the amazing Terracotta Warriors and Horses – more than twenty centuries-old sculptures embodying in the name of ancient traditions, beliefs and symbolism the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The fearlessly cold Terracotta Army is however one of the greatest forms of  funerary art found inside a necropolis. They were buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and their highest mission was to protect the emperor’s soul in his afterlife voyage.

Shihuangdi’s necropolis was surely large enough to merit the name of city of death. The outer wall of the mausoleum precinct measured 2100 x 975 meters and enclosed administrative buildings, horse stables and cemeteries; the heart of the precinct was the 500×500 meter tomb for Shihuangdi.” (Excerpt from About.com)

 

For the ones interested in all those amazing places:

Irina Alexandra is a young entrepreneur and architect, with a passion for miracles and weirdness of life.

She has been writing articles on Weirdomatic for the last 7 years in a search for all the amazing things we tend to ignore.

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Comments

comments

6 Responses to “Cities of the Dead”

  1. Hi, you might want to include this one in your weird cemeteries collection (which is great by the way). It is called ?ele kula (scull tower) and is located in Serbia. General info below:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cele_kula

  2. Great!! Thank you 🙂

  3. How Lovely the statues are.

  4. i see I will be on this site for a few days, I love being able to come to one site and finding something to entertain my curiosity of the things unknown to me, Thank you for allowing me to enjoy it and congrats Irina Alexandra, keep up the good work and you will always succeed in life. <3

  5. thank you so much 🙂

  6. Nice collections….

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