Lakewood Cemetery on a cold, windy day, spitting rain. Despite everything, heavenly!
Have you ever been here? This is one of those cemeteries so packed with beauties that even with a full-color, self-guided tour brochure there’s no way to see everything in one visit.
The staff in the reception building (with restrooms!), was incredibly helpful and organized. They printed out section maps so I could find specific grave sites. Awesome!
The blustery weather definitely set a melancholy tone for the day, so next time I visit, I’ll make it in the summer and I’ll bring a picnic lunch.
Challenging to carve something as ethereal and smokey as a soul in stone.
Laurel Hill was brimming with awesome sculptures!
What a majestic guy! Anatomically correct too. Quite the symbol of power.
Here’s a story, broken chains, open prison door, sobbing woman freed. Pretty impressive. The man memorialized abolished debtors prisons in Philly.
Emotion in the stone, that’s what it’s all about.
There’s more to see at Laurel Hills. I’ve got to go back. And I MUST have another philly cheesesteak sandwich. It’s absolutely true that nobody makes them like they do in Philadelphia!
Goat Bluff is near Hot Springs, Arkansas
Okay, who wouldn’t slam on the breaks and turn down this road?
What a great road!
There are a million Fairview, and Woodlawn and Mount Olivet cemeteries. How many times do you see a great name like Goat Bluff? This well-kept little gem was worth the trek too.
Sway Back Cemetery is near Paola, Kansas
Here are a couple more I couldn’t pass by.
This cemetery is one of my favorites outside Kearney, Missouri.
Have you seen more cemeteries with distinctive names? Let me know.
Bellefontaine Cemetery, Florissant, Missouri
Angels watch over the dead all over the world.
You’ve seen the statues… wings, solemn indifferent faces, flowing gowns. They’re beautiful, for sure, but I love finding human figures like these in Bellefontaine Cemetery in Florissant.
Maysie Walker Pittman, Bellefontaine Cemetery
Maysie stands calmly beside her own grave. She’s at ground level, life sized. You feel like you could walk up and put your arm around her shoulder. No towering plinth keepering her out of reach.
Gorgeous detail here.
The woman who mourns the Hobbs family, Bellefontaine Cemetery.
The poses and gowns are similar, but here the wife mourns her fallen husband. This widow made sure her husband was never left alone.
Another lady companion.
Companions like these aren’t as common as angels, so I love finding them. One of my absolute favorites sits in a little cemetery in Kansas, called Antioch Pioneer. Check it out.
Where’s your favorite?
Protestant Cemetery, Rome, Italy
The Angel of Grief – my favorite tombstone of all time.
This gorgeous sculpture by William Wetmore Story, weeps atop his wife Emelyn’s grave in Rome, Italy. William was the hottest American sculptor there from 1819 -1895. When Emelyn died, he poured his grief into this beautiful piece. It’s been copied all over the world, but none of the flatterers are as elegantly poignant as the original.
…or non-catholic cemetery, as the Italian name translates literally, is one of my favorites. I mean, you have to go to Rome to see it, so duh. A lot of famous people rest there, but it’s the not so famous and totally unknown, the quirky, the tragic the pathetic, the stunningly narcissistic, (see 30-meter-tall Pyramid of Cestius), that blend to give it its distinctive ambiance. Part English church garden, part first-century Roman ruin, this cemetery’s on the top of my MUST GO BACK TO list.
I always love Let’s Go Guides for European travel info. Unlike Frommer’s and Michelin, Let’s Go caters to students and travelers with small budgets. It’ll point you to the best eateries and coffee bars around the cemetery, the ones the locals hang out in.