Death is no laughable matter. Although it is a natural part of life, it can sometimes be dramatic and difficult to handle. However, while a funeral is surely a reason for tears, the place of rest must not be dull and sad. Cemeteries are places where family and friends can visit their lost ones, but they must not be considered simple places of remembrance. Think about it this way: wouldn’t your loved one like to rest in a place full of flowers, sunlight and other happy things? The answer is probably yes. Other people thought so to, and this is why they have created “Merry Cemeteries”. Let’s take a look at the five most beautiful and fascinating cemeteries in the world:
1. “The Merry Cemetery”, Romania
The Merry Cemetery from Sapanta, Romania, is infamous for its vividly colored graves and happy paintings that depict scenes from the life and occupation of the deceased. It was designed by a local artist known as Stan Ioan Patras. Some of the colored crosses also have funny poems which are relevant to the people buried there. Here is an example:
Under this heavy cross Lies my poor mother in-law Three more days she would have lived I would die, and she would read (this cross). You, who here are passing by Not to wake her up please try Cause’ if she comes back home She’ll criticize me more. But I’ll behave so well That she’ll not return from hell. Stay here, my dear mother in-law!
The unique thing about the Merry Cemetery is the fact that it does not consider death as a solemn and sad event, but rather a reason to smile. This may be connected to the Dacian culture. The Dacians did not fear death, they embraced it. Whenever a child was born they would cry, and when they died, they would do so with a smile on their face.
2. Waverley Cemetery, Sydney
Talk about scenery! The Waverley Cemetery is situated o nthe top of a cliff, and it is extremely famous for its preserved Victorian and Edwardian monuments. Interestingly enough it was self-funded, and it represents the final resting place for names such as Henry Lawson (poet) and Australia’s first Prime Minister: Sir Edmund Barton.
3. Islo di San Michele, Venice
Next on our most fascinating cemeteries list is the Islo di San Michele which is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It is located on an island because in that time, the French decreed that burials on the mainland are not sanitary. For the purpose of moving the deceased, it has special funeral gondolas. It is also the final resting place for Igor Stravinsky, and English author Frederick Rolfe.
4. Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia
Hundreds of thousands of heroes have laid down their lives in order to protect ours, and for this we must thank them. The Arlington National Cemetery, established at the Arlington House is home to 400.000 souls, and it is the only cemetery of its kind in the world. Every year, on Memorial Day, American flags are planted on the graves as a sign of gratitude.
5. Hanging Coffins, Sagada Mountain Province, Philippines
Now this is indeed a sight to behold. For centuries, the indigenous Igorot people of Sagada have practiced an extremely unique burial process: they hang their coffins from cliffs and caves. It is still not known why they do so, but many have speculated that it is a way to bring the deceased closer to heaven. All coffins are hand-carved, and are carried through the dense jungle with the help of ropes and wires. In case you were thinking a more dramatic burial place, you should know that there are special criteria that one must meet before being considered. This includes being married and having grandchildren.