The Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague lies at the heart of the Josefov quarter, the city’s former Jewish Ghetto. The history of the cemetery begins in the 15th century, after the closure of an earlier cemetery known as the Jewish Garden, which makes it one of the oldest surviving Jewish cemeteries in Europe. An estimated 12,000 Jews rest here.
Cemeteries serve as places of eternal rest for the deceased, but they also nourish the living with the historical events, cultural trends and artistic movements and beliefs of the past. The style, history, and peculiarity of the following cemeteries make them some of the most unique in Europe.
The American Cemetery of Normandy is a mighty memorial to the 9,387 soldiers fallen in the Second World War. The marble crosses and the Stars of David that mark the tombs are particularly striking. The cemetery was established in 1944 and inaugurated in 1956 as a memorial site open for visitors.
The largest cemetery in Paris covers 44 hectares and contains 70,000 burial plots. since its opening in the 19th century, countless famous people have been buried here, like Molière, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison to name a few. A walk through this cemetery is a walk through the history of art and architecture: classic pantheons, small family chapels, modern statues and curious tombstones apart from numerous monuments and a Byzantine-style crematorium.
Unlike most cemeteries, Merry does not seek a sense of solemnity, but of proximity and closeness towards death through colourful and original epitaphs. Each of them has a mini-biography, recalling the personality or some of the attributes that characterised the deceased. Whether humorous, poetic, popular or intriguing, this cemetery is a place where one can spend hours "getting to know” the people buried on its grounds.
The Greyfriars cemetery is steeped in legends and old stories. And there is no doubt that its appearance lends itself to this. Its gravestones, blackened by the Scottish weather, create a mysterious and magical atmosphere that stirs the imagination of many who visit. The Greyfriars cemetery even helped JK Rowling find the names of some of the characters from her Harry Potter books, such as Tom Riddle.