Most Beautiful Cemeteries

The Aylsworth family monument

Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island

I should start by saying I am thrilled to talk to anyone and everyone about cemeteries.  So I was especially excited when a writer for Travel & Leisure contacted me for a story she was writing about the World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries.

The story is here: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-most-beautiful-cemeteries

Since it went up on the Travel & Leisure site, it’s been picked up by the Huffington Post, Smithsonian.com, and as far away as Perth.  Many of those lovely readers have found their way here, to Cemetery Travel.  Hello!

In the interest in full disclosure, I didn’t choose the Travel & Leisure list of Beautiful Cemeteries.  I didn’t even nominate any.  Lanee Lee did all that work herself!  I agree with her choices, especially with the inclusion of places I haven’t been yet, like the Okunoin Cemetery in Japan and the Tomb of the Poets in Iran.

Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans

Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans

If anything, there are cemeteries I would add to the list.  My impression is that Rookwood Cemetery is even more beautiful than Waverley Cemetery, but our Australia friends will have to confirm or deny that.  I think Gettysburg’s Soldiers National Cemetery is prettier than Fort Rosecrans, but it could be that I’m swayed by the weight of the history in Pennsylvania.  Every list of cemeteries should include one from New Orleans.  My vote would be for Metairie Cemetery, but a case could be made for Greenwood Cemetery.

Last October, I pulled together a short list of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve visited.  It’s here:  https://cemeterytravel.com/2013/10/14/the-most-beautiful-cemeteries-on-cemetery-travel/

Rhoads_Cypress Lawn_1621

Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California

My “most beautiful” list would probably change every day, as I learn more about cemeteries.  I can say that the prettiest cemetery I’ve been to this year is Rock Creek Cemetery, outside of Washington, DC, but the many moods of Cypress Lawn gives all the others a run for my money.

 

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes. I am also the co-author (with Brian Thomas) of the novel Lost Angels and the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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9 Responses to Most Beautiful Cemeteries

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    My daughter got married in Princeton Cemetery last Sunday. It was so cold and windy that everyone was freezing but President Cleveland, his wife Frances and daughter “Baby Ruth” just 20 feet away did not complain.

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    • Loren Rhoads says:

      Jackie, would you (or your daughter?) like to write about the wedding for Cemetery Travel? I’d love to publish a wedding story — with pictures! — as one of the Death’s Garden essays. Let me know if you’d like more details. Thanks!

      Loren

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      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Ha ha ha! At this point it would be a comedy. She just got her hair done and the beautician was an hour late for that. The wind took her up-do and put it all over her head. At 50 degrees with the wind chill we all were freezing, literally. I could not feel my right side and my hand turned bluish. The woman who performed the ceremony was wonderful but we all got there an hour early since my daughter got the time mixed up. Sunday strollers were gazing at us crazy people and pointing. My daughter had on a spring/summery, sleeveless dress and froze or had a long coat over that. My husband dug out an old dirty sweatsuit jacket that I put on… and from there it got worse. I ended up getting in the car and staying there until the last moment when I hopped a wheelchair to sit nearby.

        Cemetery weddings are not uncommon. An acquaintance was telling me her daughter was married in a cemetery. There are ceremonies to honor relatives that recently died. Many cemeteries are area attractions like Princeton Cemetery that has a virtual who’s who in America. I’d love to list the people from history but I don’t have time but here are a few: Lyle and Eric Menendez’s parents are there, the prosecutor of Lincoln’s killer, the Woolworth’s guy, the author who wrote Butterfield 8, etc. The landscapes help create amazing photographs.

        That is something you could get more information about but I doubt my daughter would want it in a blog. I just hope and pray that this is not a terrible omen.

        Take care, Loren.

        Jackie

        Liked by 1 person

      • Loren Rhoads says:

        Poor girl! My heart goes out to her.

        My wedding wasn’t in a cemetery, but I also lost my hairdo to weather (driving rain, in my case). The flowers were late, my mother was shouting mad that I arrived so close to time for the ceremony to begin (I figured I might as well be nervous at home, but that wasn’t the right choice :-), and I had to get dressed in a public restroom…

        But we’ve been married almost 30 years, so a bad wedding is no indication of a bad marriage.

        May your daughter and her beloved have many, many happy years together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Bless your heart! 😀 How awful to have all that to deal with! If it were rain I would have stayed in the car. I keep telling them they will have stories to tell for years to come. This isn’t where the story ends – yet. I am married 33 years after only knowing my husband for 5 months. Tell me I don’t take risks. Too funny! ❤

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  2. guyportman says:

    You have visited some lovely cemeteries Loren. I must get around to visiting Highgate Cemetery. I live near the Old Brompton Cemetery. It is an amazing place. I just wrote a blog post about my visit to Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

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  3. Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is terrifically interesting, but for sheer beauty: Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

    Liked by 1 person

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