5 Unique Final Resting Places in the Funeral ServiceAugust 9th, 2012
After the celebration of life at the funeral service, your families go to their final resting place. Families around the world have chosen some of the wildest places on Earth to be buried – from underwater, to a 16-mile underground tunnel.
Here are some of the most amazing, unique cemeteries from all around the world:
1. The Protestant Cemetery
The Protestant Cemetery, located in Rome, Italy, is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen. I had the opportunity to visit this amazing resting place while studying a famous poet, John Keats. Other famous poets and artists buried here include Hendrik Christian Andersen, Thomas Jefferson Page, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Joseph Severn. When you walk into the cemetery, there’s a peacefulness that overcomes you that no one can explain. I fell in love with the landscape of this cemetery when I was studying in Rome, and came here often to write.
My favorite gravestone? John Keats. You can’t tell me you’ve read a more beautiful epitaph. It reads ”This grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.”
2. The World’s First Underwater Cemetery
The Neptune Memorial Reef (also known as the Atlantis Memorial Reef) is the world’s first and largest man-made coral reef, covering more than 16 acres of the ocean floor. Built in 2007 right off the coast of Miami Beach, Neptune Memorial Reef transforms cremated remains into an environmentally friendly re-creation of Atlantis, the Lost City. Friends and family of the loved one can even get dive certified to visit the departed at the bottom of the ocean!
3. The Merry Cemetery
Located in Northern Romania, the Merry Cemetery is one of the most beautiful, colorful cemeteries in the world – it’s even recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What I love about this cemetery is that it represents death in a way that most people don’t see it. It attributed the local Dacian culture belief that death is liberating and “a moment filled with joey and anticipation for a better life.” This might explain why all of the headstones briefly describe the life of the departed in a rather funny, ironic way. Below is an example:
Under this heavy cross
Lays my poor mother in-law
Three more days she would have lived
I would lay, and she would read (this cross).
You, who here are passing by
Not to wake her up please try
Cause’ if she comes back home
She’ll criticise me more.
But I’ll behave so well
That she’ll not return from hell.
Stay here, my dear mother in-law!
4. “The Bridge to Paradise”
The Bridge to Paradise, in the Xcaret Nature and Cultural Park located in Cancun, Mexico. Its structure is representative of the Gregorian calendar – formed in a cone with 7 levels (symbolizing the days of the week) and 365 unique and colorful tombs (representing the 365 days of the Gregorian calendar year). And, when you walk into the beautiful entrance, you’ll have to climb 52 steps that represent the 52 weeks of the year. The tombs have unique, colorful designs that range from a replica of a cathedral, to a headboard with a blanket and pillow. During the Day of the Dead celebrations, the tombs get perfumed and decked out with colorful flowers to welcome the souls of the departed.
5. Christian Catacombs in Rome
The catacombs of Rome are basically an underground cemetery, consisting of intricate tunnels for burial chambers. They date all the way back to the 5th Century A.D., and were used for both memorial services, as well as the internment of the dead. Because of the laws forbidding the burial of bodies within the city, most catacombs were located outside of the (then) city walls. The biggest catacomb in Rome is 90 acres, 12 miles long and 20 meters deep with FOUR levels. When I visited Rome last year, I was lucky enough to see them, and they were very interesting (scary, but historically entertaining)!
What’s your favorite unique cemetery or memorial? Share it wish us!