According to our Weird Holidays & Observances Calendar, October 30 is Visit a Cemetery Day. (It’s also National Candy Corn Day, Mischief Night, and Haunted Refrigerator Day.) But this post is dedicated to Cemetery Day.
I thought it’d be fun to revisit some of the most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries we’ve visited during some of our jaunts.
Choosing the Cemeteries
There’s lots of “best of” lists. How’d I choose the cemeteries featured in this post?
It’s important to note that I’m no taphophile, and I certainly haven’t visited every cemetery in the whole wide world.
This list is completely subjective. It’s based solely on my personal reactions to them, including the first impressions they made and the lasting impressions they’ve left behind.
They’re also in no particular order. Certainly not best first or anything like that. They’re all remarkable in their own ways.
Hope you enjoy looking at them.
And be sure to leave a comment about which most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries you’ve enjoyed visiting. Do we share any in common?
1. The Sultan Tombs at the Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey
The Sultan Tombs of the Ayasofya (aka Hagia Sofia) were unlike anything I’d ever seen before. They were like mini-mosques. The utmost respect was expected when visiting. (Meaning taking our shoes off before entering, no talking, but curiously pictures were allowed.)
Sultan tombs were the biggest and had the largest turbans adorning them. Wives rested beside their husbands. Children surrounded them. The boys had turbans too, albeit smaller than their father’s. Wives and daughters had nothing.
The one that struck me most was the Mausoleum of Princes where all the boys were laid to rest together, but their only sister was placed off to the side by herself.
2. Glasgow Necropolis – Glasgow, Scotland
When we reached Glasgow and I saw the Necropolis on the city map, I instantly thought of Chris Davis from Frog on a Pumpkin. She had told me years ago that if I ever made it to Glasgow, the Necropolis was a must see.
I don’t want to be buried. However, there are a couple of cemeteries that I wouldn’t mind my earthly remains resting ever after in. This gorgeous cemetery perched on a hill overlooking the city is one of them.
The day we visited we had appropriately atmospheric partly cloudy weather. A whisper of a somber tune from bag pipes being played floated up to us from somewhere below. And the air held the most magnificent smell. Earthy and sweet from some unidentified flower perfuming the grounds. (It smelled a little like honeysuckle, which for all I know it very may well have been.)
3. Normandy America Cemetery – Normandy, France
I expected to be emotional on our jaunt to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. I expected the sight of the rows of pristine white crosses perched on a now solemn and peaceful cliff above the sea to make me cry.
I did get teary eyed, but it was the Garden of the Missing that broke my heart and made me weep. This was one of the most humbling cemeteries I’ve had the honor of stepping foot into.
Blessings on all the lives lost during that war, and especially the mission that freed the people of France. To this day there are tributes to the American Servicemen who came to liberate those in occupied territory. Seeing that has forever changed my Memorial Day perspective.