Whether it’s to admire the beauty and architecture, or a desire to pay respects to famous people buried within these walls, visiting well-known cemeteries is a popular item on many travelers’ itineraries. When you’re planning your next trip, consider one of these six famous cemeteries to visit.
A number of famous people, including Eva Perón, are buried at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. Other notable graves include those of past Argentine presidents, Nobel Prize winners, and the founder of Argentina’s Navy.
La Recoleta Cemetery has been named one of the prettiest cemeteries in the world, and for good reason. There are many elaborate marble mausoleums and a number of different architectural styles represented. Some notable Argentine sculptors designed several of the memorials, which are still in use by many rich families in the area.
The Père Lachaise Cemetery is one of the most-visited in the world, as you’ll find some very well known names interned here. Famous people like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Frederic Chopin are among the most famous graves that travelers come to see.
This is the largest cemetery in Paris itself, and is also home to three World War I memorials. It was opened back in 1804 and, while the cemetery still accepts new burials, there are strict rules on who can be buried here – and even a waiting list!
Barre’s Hope Cemetery is one of the more unique cemeteries you might visit on your travels. It’s called the “Granite Capital of the World,” and the cemetery is a tribute to the stonecutters and artisans who are interred here. Many of the headstones pay homage to the hobbies and passions of the deceased, rather than your typical headstones. Everything from soccer balls and racecars are seen here.
If you’re interested in war memorials and cemeteries, one of the most visited is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial that honors American troops who died in Europe during World War II. The cemetery is massive, covering over 170 acres with nearly 10,000 military buried there, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and related operations.
It’s not surprising that one of Hollywood’s cemeteries would be known for its celebrity status. Expect it to be a true reflection of the Hollywood scene – from gaudy tombstones to unique touches like peacocks and palm trees. There’s even a memorial for Toto. And, in true Hollywood fashion, there are various cultural events and screenings held here from time to time.
If you’re interested in learning more about Day of the Dead celebrations, head to Mexico’s Xoxocotlan Cemetery starting on October 31. Graves are decorated and candles are lit as families sit by the graveside for a nighttime vigil. The belief is that by decorating the graves, the departed souls will be enticed to return on November 1.
There are offerings of food and drink, as people believe the departed will consume their essence at the end of their journey. The all-night vigil becomes more like a full-blown party as Mariachi bands, singers, and dancers entertain families and friends throughout the night. While you can see Day of the Dead celebrations at cemeteries all over Mexico, it’s believed the Xoxocotlan one is where you will see the biggest celebration.
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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