R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting

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Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

Halloween is almost upon us, and if that doesn't make you want to watch scary movies about ghosts and unsuspecting people running through graveyards, then the below list of cemeteries surely will. For the traveler, this season brings plenty of chances to indulge in some of the spookier parts of the world, from haunted hotels and legendary fortresses to the final resting places of the long deceased. So here is a list of top 5 incredible cemeteries around the world that are worth the trip.

1. Katholische Pfarre Hallstatt, Hallstatt, Austria

Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID
Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

Hallstatt has long made the Instagram rounds as one of the most stunning small towns in Europe. So it's only fitting that the local cemetery matches. Peering out over the tranquil lake, these graves have a perfect view for eternity. The small chapel, Hallstatt Charnel House, also houses over 1200 skulls (more than 600 of which are painted and sorted by family)

2. The Merry Cemetery, Săpânţa, Romania

Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID
Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

A graveyard might not seem like a place of bright, cheerful colors but the aptly-named Merry Cemetery in Săpânţa, Romania decided to ignore this. The over 600 wooden crosses in the cemetery are cheerfully decorated with bright pictures, and when you look closer you'll find the life stories of the bodies they mark. With limericks surprisingly ironic stories and grotesque pictures, these graves air all the deceased's dirty laundry. Here's a sample: “Ioan Toaderu loved horses. One more thing he loved very much. To sit at a table in a bar. Next to someone else’s wife.”

3. St. Andrews Cathedral Graveyard, Scotland

Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID
Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

Set in the emerald-green grass around the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, this graveyard is quintessentially Scottish. The grounds were abandoned in 1561, and the area soon fell into disrepair. Today, however, you can tour the ruins of what was once the largest church in Scotland, and walk among those buried with a view of the sea.

4. Chichicastenango Cemetery, Guatemala

Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID
Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

Another bright and colorful cemetery, the Chichicastenango Cemetery in Guatemala is steeped in Mayan tradition. Painted crosses and mausoleums symbolize who the deceased were in their life - for example, a turquoise grave indicates the buried was a mother while grandfathers are marked in yellow. Though some graves give up the symbolism and are just painted in the departed's favorite color.

5. Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic

Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID
Photo of R.I.P - 5 Cemeteries Worth Visiting by SONIA DAVID

Once, Prague was a flourishing center for Jewish culture. Then World War II happened, and much of that population was exiled or transported to concentration camps, their communities and relics destroyed. The oldest surviving Jewish Cemetery, however, is a testament to the people who made the city home. With the earliest tomb dating back to 1439, this cemetery contains over 12,000 uneven headstones packed closely together, jutting out of the ground for an asymmetrical but beautiful resting ground.

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