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Exploring Historic Cemeteries, Part III

We conclude our visual tour of selected locations from Loren Rhoads’ cemetery travel guide

Sunday, November 11, 2018

So far, our tour of historic cemeteries has taken us to the U.S., Canada, and Europe. But some of the most iconic burial places are elsewhere: The Taj Mahal in India, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, The Rock-Cut Tombs of Petra in Jordan, to name a few. In Part III, we look at cemeteries in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, the Caribbean, and South America.

Loren Rhoads

The tour is based on 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads, who also pens the Cemetery Travel blog.

“While 199 cemeteries may seem like a lot, that number just scratches the surface of the possibilities of cemetery travel,” she observes.

In compiling the list, she considered the aesthetics of the cemeteries and their historical significance. “I tried to include as wide a range of locations and cultures as possible,” she adds, “while being reminded that permanent grave markers are a luxury that not everyone can afford—and not every culture chooses to create permanent memorials to their forebears.”

Other gravesites from the book include:

• The massive burial grounds of Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, guarded by its army of Terracotta Warriors.

• Okunoin Cemetery, the largest in Japan with more than 200,000 graves. They include the mausoleum of Kūkai, founder of Shingon Buddhism.

• The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, considered the holiest Christian site in the world.

• Rookwood Necropolis in Australia, the largest necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere.

• La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which “makes all the lists of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world,” Rhoads writes.

Many steampunk enthusiasts have a fascination for Victorian-era cemeteries, and you will find numerous examples in this tour. Some, such as the Old Christian Cemetery in Singapore and South Park Street Cemetery in Kolkata, are vestiges of the British Empire in the 19th century. But with the range of cultures represented here, you’ll also find inspiration for a less Euro-centric vision of steampunk.

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers. Links are on her website. On the Amazon page, you can see the complete list of cemeteries by clicking on the book cover.

Check out the locations in the photo gallery below.

See also: Part I: U.S.A. and Canada, and Part II: Europe.


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