While cemeteries are always associated with death, grief, and sorrow, they can also be fascinating places to visit, attracting the living with their strange serenity, striking architecture, or manicured park-like grounds.
From bizarre ancient necropolises to architecturally stunning contemplative spaces and veritable outdoor museums, these eerily beautiful and totally unique cemeteries in Europe are worth the trip alone.
Skogskyrkogården Woodland Cemetery, Sweden
Designed by Swedish architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, Skogskyrkogården – Stockholm’s Woodland Cemetery – is considered a masterpiece of Nordic Classicism and an outstanding example of how nature and architecture can exist in perfect harmony.
More than just a burial ground, this is a UNESCO-protected park-like setting enveloped in peace and serenity, a place for strolling, contemplation, and birdwatching. Guided tours are available throughout the summer months.
Merry Cemetery, Romania
Hidden in a small Romanian village, the Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel) is definitely one of a kind. The graveyard’s bright blue wooden crosses are personalized with cheery pictures and darkly humorous epitaphs about the deceased person’s life.
The site is located in the village of Sapanta, Maramures (about 600 km from Bucharest) and is considered a monument of folk art of inestimable value