Some people avoid cemeteries, believing them to be sad, depressing, or just plain creepy. I, however, love cemeteries. I love wandering around in them, looking at the beautiful funereal sculpture, the interesting notes on the headstones, the different ways in which we honor those who have passed before us.
Ireland in particular has many fascinating cemeteries. Dublin, for instance, houses Glasnevin cemetery – a vast complex area filled with monuments, graves, sculpture, memorials, and even a round tower.
Why do we memorialize our dead? Not all have. For a long time in history, the dead were burned to ash and scattered to the wind, as we believed that would return them to the other world. Some cultures left their dead out for the body to be picked clean by scavengers. Today we believe in either burying or burning our loved ones and then leaving a place where we could go and remember them. Whether it be an urn on the living room mantle, a Memorial Park, or a gothic cemetery, we treasure the memories of those we have loved, those that have passed on to the other world, no matter what our beliefs of those other world might be.
Here are some of my photographs from various cemeteries I’ve visited in Ireland.
Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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