Nestled in the heart of Buenos Aires' most chic neighborhood, this exclusive cemetery is the final resting place of Argentina's elite, including Eva Duarte Perón (Evita). The intricately designed mausoleums are situated across from one another on narrow streets, making this burial ground a grand city of the dead. Many tombs have pictures of the interred in their prime displayed near the door, which give visitors a glimpse of the spirits behind the tomb walls.
Prague's Old Jewish Cemetery is a stark contrast to Buenos Aires' luxurious city of the dead. This cemetery's tragic story is evident upon first glance. Even before the Nazis occupied Prague, Jews were restricted to a specific area of the city. This included their burial grounds. In Jewish custom, the dead must be buried right away, and cremation is not permitted. Since they were given such little land for a cemetery, they had to bury people on top of each other. Experts suspect over 100,000 people have been buried on this tiny plot of land that spans just one city block. You can read more about our visit to Prague's Jewish quarter here.
3. The Necropolis of St. Peter's, Vatican City, Italy
One cannot talk about burial grounds without mentioning one of the world's most famous underground cemetery. Located under St. Peter's Basilica, the Necropolis was once an ancient above-ground cemetery filled with tombs and mausoleums of wealthy Roman families. When St. Peter's tomb was discovered underneath an ancient Roman family mausoleum, Emperor Constantine filled in the Necropolis in order to build a church over Peter's final place of rest. In order to see this subterranean burial ground you must contact the Vatican and book a tour well in advance of your visit. It's worth it. Read more about our Necropolis experience here.
I recently discovered Mount Auburn Cemetery after a trip to my local grocery store in Cambridge. It's well hidden among every day life in Cambridge - shops, buses and ivy covered brick apartments are right outside the long fence hiding this magnificent cemetery. When I walked through the main gate, the city melted away and I was immediately transported to a land from a storybook. Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first landscaped cemetery open to the public in the USA and is credited as the beginning of the American public parks and gardens movement. It is the final resting place of many historically significant people including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Winslow Homer and Isabella Stuart Gardner. The gardens are impeccable, the wildlife (particularly birds) are abundant and the setting is so peaceful that the living often temporarily rest, alongside the permanent residents.
This charming cemetery became famous around the world thanks to Hollywood. It is the cemetery where the family Von Trapp hid from the Nazis in The Sound of Music. Although the movie scene was filmed in a Hollywood studio, it was inspired by the gated section of the actual cemetery. Two other fun facts about this cemetery: It is home to Mozart's sister Maria Ann and all plots are rented. Therefore families of the dead must pay rent on the lot every 10 years, or the body is removed and the plot is rented to someone else.