By now, those of you who have been following my blogs will know about my two obsessions - firstly my love for marble and secondly my fascination with European cemeteries. These places full of the stories of lives lived are a great sources of wonder to this wanderer.
Nowhere else can you find such beauty in sorrow - in days past ( in this case, during the 19th and 20th centuries ) families / friends / governments went to great effort and considerable expense to erect monumental headstones commemorating the earthly life and a hoped-for better after-life for the deceased.
And on a morning when the sun was at last shining through the clouds generating a bit of warmth into the crisp Autumn air, I found my way to the Kerepesi Cemetery to see how well the 19th and 20th Century Hungarians honoured their dead.
And wandering over this famous and huge – 56 hectares – I wasn’t disappointed.
So here are just a few images from my morning at Kerepesi.
Founded in 1847, Kerepesi is the final resting place for numerous Hungarian notables (statesmen, writers, sculptors, architects, artists, composers, scientists, actors and actresses etc.) who been interred there - several of them in ornate tombs or mausoleums. This was encouraged by the decision of the municipal authorities to declare Kerepesi a 'ground of honour' in 1885.
The cemetery was declared closed for burials in 1952. This was partly because it had become damaged during World War II, and partly for political reasons, as the Communist government sought to play down the graves of those who had 'exploited the working class'.
The cemetery, with its extended parks among the graves and monuments, includes a special parcel established in 1874 for those who were denied a church funeral ( those who committed suicide and those executed by the state ).
We might go to the opera in my next post …