Friday, October 30, 2020

My Top 21 Favorite Cemeteries


Anyone that knows me knows that I love cemeteries. When I travel somewhere, a cemetery will often be included as part of my destination. Cemeteries are a place of beauty, a place of history, a place of tranquility, a place of solemnity, a place of rest, a place of mystery, a place of contemplation, a place filled with the stories of those who have passed on before us. I have visited dozens upon dozens of cemeteries, and below I will list my favorite twenty-one that I have personally visited and spent time in, and I hope to visit many more before I am finally buried in one. I love all these cemeteries almost equally, so the listing of them was difficult and could easily be up for debate; and I left many out I would have loved to include. I encourage everyone to look them up and visit them all when they get a chance. I will provide a short one sentence summary of why I listed each cemetery below.
21. Common Burying Ground in Newport, Rhode Island
I love Newport and its history, as well as this old burial spot of its past residents.
20. Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts
A very beautiful and historic cemetery near where I grew up in Watertown, and where I have family member's buried.
19. Spider Gates Cemetery in Leicester, Massachusetts
A spooky cemetery with many haunted legends.
18. Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Over 150 victims of the sinking of the Titanic are buried here.
17. Howard Street Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts 

Salem has many historic burial grounds, this is one of them, and Giles Corey is buried here and is said to haunt it.
16. Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island
An old cemetery behind a Baptist Church that was the scene of an infamous vampire scare in the late 19th century that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula soon after.
15. Granary Burial Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
John Hancock, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin's parents, Samuel Adams, James Otis, and five victims of the Boston Massacre are buried here, among other notables.
14. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts

Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne are buried here, among other notables.
13. Burial Hill Cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Established in the 17th century, it is the burial site of several Pilgrims, the founding settlers of Plymouth Colony.
12. Kings Chapel Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
This is the granddaddy of Boston burial grounds, dating from 1630, and includes such notables as John Winthrop, Massachusetts' first colonial governor, and William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere.
11. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York

With the Old Dutch Church, the grave of Washington Irving, the bridge of the Headless Horseman and the location in Sleepy Hollow itself, it's like you are visiting the locations of one of my favorite short stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".
10. Old Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts

You cannot get a better sense of old Salem than taking a walk through this historic and haunting cemetery.

9. Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California

If you love old Hollywood and its stars, as well as notable literary figures and other entertainers both old and new, many are buried here, from Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood to Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote and Rodney Dangerfield.

8. Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California

I didn't have too much time to spend in this cemetery, but what I saw was really cool, and very Hollywood.

7. The Pantheon in Paris, France
Housed in this part classical part gothic cathedral is an important part of French history beginning with the French Revolution and contains a crypt of French national heroes, which includes those of Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas among many others.

6. Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.

624 acres of graves of the dead heroes of the nation's conflicts have been buried here, beginning with the Civil War, as well as reinterred dead from earlier wars.

5. Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France

An amazing tribute to the United States by the French and very moving experience that reignited within me a sense of patriotism that will never be extinguished.

4. Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France

An absolutely stunning necropolis where many notable and famous people are buried, with gorgeous monuments throughout strewn across its hills.

3. Basilica of Saint Denis in Paris, France

This is a fully functional church and is noted as the first gothic cathedral, which contains within it crypts and monuments covering the entire history of France, especially focused on its royalty.

2. Catacombs of Paris in Paris, France

Six million people are buried below the city of Paris in a series of tunnels which you can walk through a small section of, as long as you are prepared to see exposed human remains stacked on top of each other throughout.

1. The Necropolis of Hierapolis in Pamukkale, Turkey

This large ancient necropolis is filled with some of the best preserved sarcophagi dating to the Hellenic and Roman period, and contains early Christian graves as well, the most notable monument being the octagonal Basilica of the Apostle Philip, who was martyred and buried here.