Tuesday, July 3, 2018

'Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, Italy, Part-II' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

One may add here a few words about the history of this cemetery. King Carlo Alberto of Savoy clained in 1832 with the  Regie Patenti Publics or a public proclamation that public cemeteries be constructed in good hygienic conditions and prohibited burials in churches.

 Civic Architect Carlo Barabino was entrusted with the responsibility of planning a central and monumntal cemetery which should comply with all functional requirements.

Barabino's plan was carried out by Architect Giovanni Battista Reasco. The cemetery was officially opened to public on Jnuary 1, 1851 and the provisional chapel was blessed.


(Text sourced from 'Itineraries in Staglieno', edited and published by the Commune of Genoa, Italy )

Sunday, July 1, 2018

'Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, Italy, Part-I' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I have visited a large number of christian cemeteries the world over and found some of those to be very beautiful. But the three Italian cemeteries that I visited earlier in June this year, were the best that I have seen. Almost each grave is a piece of art and these cemeteries look like open air art museums.....Look at one such grave from Genoa cemetery....More, many more photos and a write up follows soon on my websites www.gravematters.in and www.fiftyplustravels.com as well as on my blog www.gravematters.blogspot.in....
The 1st of November is a national holiday in Italy, known as Tutti i Santi or Ognissanti, which celebrates all saints and is followed by All Souls Day on the 2nd of November, a day devoted to honor loved ones who have passed away by going to the cemetery to pray, bringing candles and flowers to their tombs.
  The standard cemetery in most Italian towns and villages is a walled enclosure on the outskirts of cities and towns owned by the local council rather than the church. While in the past dead people were buried in several different ways, Napoleon introduced the current practise of urban cemeteries with the 1804 Edict of Saint-Cloud which forbade burials in churches and towns for reasons of hygiene and to reduce the chance of spread of disease from the over crowded cemeteries.
 Today, most Italian cemeteries consist mainly of multi-storey rows of concrete vaults, sealed with a marble plaque with a small photo of the deceased in life. However, over the years, many people commissioned architects and artists to design special chapels and tombs for them, so many Italian cemeteries have now become open-air museums of funerary art and are known as Cimiteri Monumentali (Monumental Cemeteries).

The Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, Liguria, located on a hillside in the district of Staglieno is famous for its monumental sculptures. It represents for the  Geonese people, not only a place of remembrance, but also a a meaningful historical and cultural heritage. The Municipality of Genoa, aware of the importance of the historical and artistic patrimony housed in Staglieno, a real open air museum, has undertaken numerous projects aimed at restoring and highlighting the many works of art which had made Staglieno famous in Italy as well as abroad.

As explained by Mr. Giorgio Guerello, the City Councillor in the Guide published by the Commune,  the booklet suggests visitors some striking thematic routes inside the cemetery; the Risorgimento, the Angels, the allegories of Charity and Beneficience and the emotions.

 Covering an area of more than a square kilometre, it is one of the largest cemeteries in Europe. The original project was approved in 1835 by the City's architect Carlo Barabino. However, he died the same year as a result of the cholera epidemic that struck the city and the project passed to his assistant and pupil Giovanni Battista Resasco. Work began in 1844 and it was opened on 2 January 1851. At the time Genoa was a major centre of learning within Italy and attracted reformists and an affluent bourgeoisie. Wishing to place long-lasting memorials to remember their work and moral accomplishments, they developed a tradition of funerary art, realistic sculptures in particular, to be placed on their tombs. The cemetery contains the tombs of Oscar Wilde's wife Constance Lloyd, Ferruccio Parri, Fabrizio De André, Nino Bixio, and Giuseppe Mazzini.
 Mark Twain visited while he was in Genoa and wrote: “… We shall continue to remember it after we shall have forgotten the palaces. It is a vast marble colonnaded corridor extending around a great unoccupied square of ground; its broad floor is marble, and on every slab is an inscription—for every slab covers a corpse. On either side, as one walks down the middle of the passage, are monuments, tombs, and sculptured figures that are exquisitely wrought and are full of grace and beauty. They are new and snowy; every outline is perfect, every feature guiltless of mutilation, flaw, or blemish; and therefore, to us these far-reaching ranks of bewitching forms are a hundred fold more lovely than the damaged and dingy statuary they have saved from the wreck of ancient art and set up in the galleries of Paris for the worship of the world.”

 The art of the cemetery is closely tied with the emergence of the Realist art movement in the 1850s. Now it is famous for its weeping angels and sorrowful widows as well as its eerily lifelike depictions of the bereaved and the deceased in contemporary clothing, which have earned the nickname “the talking statues.”
 By the late 1800s, the cemetery had become not only a popular burial place, but also a tourist attraction with guided tours and booklets.

How to get there:
One can get to this cemetery by taking bus: lines 13- 14 - 34 – 48  or by train from Brignole station + lines 14.

(Text sourced from http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/top-ten-italian-monumental-cemeteries  https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cimitero-monumentale-di-staglieno   By Annetta Black ; ) ; 'Itineraries in Staglieno', edited and published by the Commune of Genoa, Italy )

Saturday, May 19, 2018

'Eager to visit Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno, Genoa, Italy next week' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

Photo by Vrielinkie.

I am eager to visit Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno, Genoa, Italy next week. I plan to take lots of photos and share those with my readers on my website www.gravematters.in and this blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

'The awesome Havana Cemetery' by K.J.S.Chatrath

My visit to the  cemetery to Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon) in Havana, Cuba really left me awe struck. I had very little idea of the size of the cemetery and the number of beautifully carved tombs stones in pure white carrara marble. Named after  Christopher Columbus, this cemetery is one of the largest and the most ornate in the world.  It  was designed by Spanish architect, Calixto de Loira  and was built during 1871-1886.

This necropolis has 20 kilometres of pathways, and was declared a national monument in 1987. With more than 800,000 graves and 1 million interments, like many other cemeteries in the world there is a paucity of burial space in this cemetery. The buried remains are removed from their tombs, boxed and placed in a storage building after three years.

Let us take a walk.

Cementerio Cristóbal Colón entranceway is 22.5 metres tall. It was sculpted in 1904 by Cuban artist, José Villalta Saavedra.


Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionatrias was built in 1955. It is a large pantheon that houses Cuban heroes of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.







Monument to the common man (aam admi)!
There is a ticket of 5 CUCs for foreigners visiting this cemetery.
Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.
This post was earlier put up on March 4, 2013 in my website www.gravematters.in

'Panteón Civil de Dolores cemetery, Mexico City' by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited this Cemetary just two days after the annual celeberation there. This celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Roman Catholic  holidays of All Saints Day and All Soul's Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased with marigold flowers and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Two things stand out inrespect of this cemetery- (i) with 700,000 graves, many with multiple burials, it is perhaps the largest in South-Central America; and (ii) It has one of the largest range of graves with unusual designs and colours. And of course it is really neat and clean.

 It is the largest cemetery in Mexico and contains the "Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres" (Rotunda of Illustrious Persons). It is located on Constituyentes Avenue in Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City, between sections two and three of Chapultepec Park. The history of the cemetery goes back to 1870 when Juan Manuel Benfield, owner of El Rancho de Coscoacoaco (his wife was Concepción Gayosso y Mugarrieta sister of Eusebio Gayosso) set aside an area of his ranch measuring 240 square hectometres (590 acres), called La Tabla de Delores, on which to found a cemetery. In 1875, the cemetery was opened and named El Panteon Civil de Dolores. Juan Manuel Benfield founded the Cemetery in honor of his sister who died in Veracruz shortly after she had arrived from London with their parents.
 "Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres" decorated with flowers.

Tomb of Diego Rivera. He was was a prominent Mexican painter and husband of Frida Kahlo (a painter best known for her self-portraits). His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in Mexican art.









Tomb of Alfonso Reyes.
Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.
This post was first put up on February 9, 2013 in my website www.gravematters.in

"Lima cemetery, Peru, Part-II" by K.J.S.Chatrath


I had put up a post "Visit to the Lima cemetery, Peru" (http://gravesaroundtheworld.blogspot.in/2018/04/visit-to-lima-cemetery-peru-by.html) some time back. Here are some more photographs of the same cemetery. 

 By the side of the cross is a small statue of an owl- indicating bad luck. 







Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.
This post was first put up October 20, 2012 on in my website www.gravematters.in