Stephanie Yoder a RoamRight Blog Author

The Most Beautiful Cemeteries in the World

The Mirogoj Cemetery is a cemetery park that is considered to be among the more noteworthy landmarks in the City of Zagreb. CT

Do you include cemeteries in your city sightseeing itineraries? You may want to consider adding them in. Graveyards are more than just a final burial place for the dead, they can be a window into history, an open air art museum or an architectural primer. Cemeteries can be peaceful, interesting and yes, even beautiful. Here are some of the most famous and visually appealing cemeteries in the world:

Mirogoj Cemetery – Zagreb, Croatia

Mirogoj isn't quite as well known as other European heavy hitters, but this elegant and beautiful cemetery is a highlight of Zagreb. Known for it's beautiful arcades, which feature patterned tiles floors, ivy and sculpted columns, Mirogoj is more like a park than just a burial ground. The cemetery is often described as an open-air art gallery for its statues, pavilions and architecture. On All Saints Day locals blanket the cemetery in flowers and candles.

Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis – San Juan, Puerto Rico

This cemetery, on the outskirts of Old San Juan, definitely wins for most dramatic location. Santa Maria Magdalena is perched on a strip of shoreline overlooking the sparkling blue Atlantic. Officials chose this location as a metaphor: the spirits journey into the afterlife as a journey across the sea. The tombs and buildings glow an immaculate white that resonates against the blue background and the old El Morro fort can be spotted in the distance.

Highgate Cemetery is a place of burial in north London, England. CT

Highgate Cemetery – London, England

Highgate is the largest, most famous of London's “Magnificent Seven,” a group of large Victorian cemeteries built to ease the overcrowding of parish burial grounds. Highgate quickly became a posh, high-status place to own a tomb, which is reflected in the elaborate art that adorns many of the graves.

Highgate is beautiful and spooky and everything that a Victorian cemetery should be. It features elaborate gothic tombs, elegant statues and enormous tombs. The highlight is the elaborate columned Egyptian Avenue. Famous burials here include Karl Marx, Douglas Adams and George Eliot.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

Savannah likes to call itself the city of the dead, in which case Bonaventure Cemetery is probably the capital. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Wilmington River, Bonaventure is a sprawl of elaborate tombstones covered by oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The main attraction here is the bird girl statue, made popular by the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

La Recoleta Cemetery is a cemetery located in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. CT

La Recoleta – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Located in one of the poshest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, La Recoleta is the final resting place for many of Argentina's top movers and shakers including Eva Peron. The cemetery itself is a beautiful maze, bursting with interesting and elaborate tombstones in an incredible juxtaposition of styles including art deco, neo-gothic and neo-classical. A variety of rough looking tabby cats prowl the cemetery, basking in the sun and guarding the dead.

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Père Lachaise is one of the most famous and beautiful cemeteries in the world, and for good reason too. It is a huge, 44 acre cemetery in downtown Paris that dates back to 1804 featuring towering monuments, elaborate chapels, and colorful garden flowers. Many famous figures are buried here including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.

Hong Kong Cemetery, formerly Hong Kong Cemetery and before that Hong Kong Colonial Cemetery, is one of the early Christian cemeteries of Hong Kong dating to its colonial era beginning in 1845. CT

Hong Kong Cemetery

Hong Kong's earliest Christian cemetery was founded in 1804, during the colonial era. It features a mix of elegant Chinese and Japanese style graves, minimalist military tombstones dating back as far as the Boxer Rebellion and elaborate angel topped British reliquaries sprawled over an enormous hillside with skyscrapers looming in the background.

Do you have a favorite cemetery?

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About the Author

Stephanie Yoder

Stephanie Yoder, a RoamRight Blog Author

Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.

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