Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cimitero La Spezia

It's been a while since i've posted something and i even have no idea why that is the case. I'm blaming a lack of motivation and the general dark mood that comes at this time of the year.

So to cheer myself (and maybe you) a bit up i'll post some gems from the Cimitero La Spezia. I visited that beautiful cemetery last October and here are still plenty of pictures that need to be shown to you.

This selection is focused on grieving beauties.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Portugal 2011: Another Bones Chapel

Here we go again: I've made a post about this topic some time ago, but this year it was a different chapel.

It is the bones chapel in Alcantarilha .

Again, the walls of the chapel are covered in human bones and skulls. This time they didn't do it with victims of the plague but with "normal" dead. And the story goes like this:

About 300 years ago the local cemtery was simply full, so it was decided to dig up the dead and take them to Faro, the next big city in this area. However, the residents were against that and they protested and wanted their dead nearby. So they collected the bones and glued them to the chapel wall.

Info at the entrance


Heavy-Metal-Cover-Designer's wet dream...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Even beaches can be cemeteries....

Since the weather was stormy and windy we decided to pay the southwest coast of Portugal a visit. The promise of dramatic landscape and really big waves crashing on the shore was more inviting than hanging around and being gloom about the weater. Some geocaching was thrown in as well...

At this beach i found something odd though: Lying in the sand there was a strange heart-shaped object which i've never seen before. I was, to be brutally honest, a bit baffled by this. Because this wasn't a lifebelt (or at least not a normal one for a normal passenger...)

Why heartshaped? Why all these strange spikes and fittings around it?

My stepmother provided the anwer: This is a funeral wreath from a sea burial. The spikes are remains of the flowers, the iron fittings held them together.

I guess the urn itself was ripped off by the sea  (was it attached to the rope?).

Monday, 10 October 2011

Melaten Cemetery Part II

Autumn. Very.
In this second post about the Melaten-Cemetery in Cologne i will talk about facts.

First the name: Melaten comes from the french word "malade" which has the same meaning in English: Malady. It was a crude hospital for the people suffering from leprosy.... Basically they were left to die there, so speaking of a hospital not really accurate.

Then the use of the Melaten got even more horrific: It used to be the place where the capital punishment took place. It had a gallow and the last execution took place in 1797.

The last and lasting use of this place however is the cemetery. And it goes down to Napoleon that it exists. Before his occupation of the Rhineland the burials were done beside or even inside the churches. That became a huge issue because the population increased dramatically and there was simply no space left for the dead. So for hygienic reasons the Melaten Cemetery was planned and build and finally opened in 1810.

It's philosophy was based on the the big model in Paris, the Pere Lachaise so it makes the Melaten Cemetery one of the first Park Cemetery in Europe.

This is an extreme BW-Image (still getting to know Lightroom...)

Another copy of one popular angel i've seen in quite a few cemeteries in Germany so far.
It's always a beauty to behold.

 This is another example of a the occasional protestant grave.... And it's as ugly as the other ones. I'm still wondering why in the name of all that's holy they go for the Kindergarten-Look. No Proportions, no beauty, no style.

Still, better than the dull headstone where nothing but a name and some dates appear.

Another Detail of the protestant grave: They even depictured grapes on the body of Jesus... My, oh my. That's not exactly subtle, is it?

Anyway, since Gothic is one of my favourite Topics and since i was in Cologne anyway it was unavoidable to visit the Cologne Cathedral....

Cologne Cathedral: Front


The stained glass is quite interesting, however: Some few years ago one big window was designed by Gerhard Richter and it was a subject of a very heated discussion:

Gerhard Richter Window: Looks a bit like a pixelated adult picture.... 

The cardinal of the Cathedral isn't very fond of it: He'd rather have pictures of brutally slain martyrs on it, but even he tried very hard he could not stop the abstract window.

It is a fine piece of  art though, but still  i'm with the cardinal....

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What connects Stephen King with the Ramones?

I know, that's a simple one. But this isn't a quiz show and i was desperate for a snappy headline. And i failed miserably. Again.

Anyway, this post is quite unusual. It is about a cemetery, but it's not one you'd expect here:

One odd thing about it is the fact that this Cemetery is in Herford, Germany. The german term "Tierfriedhof" is there, too, but still it's a bit baffling that it is an international cemetery. I can only guess (it's an educated guess though) that this is because in Herford are quite a few barracks of the british forces and even today there are thousands of british soldiers and their family living here.

What is (at least in my opinion) very disturbing here is the fact that the amount of caring you see and the amount of grief you sense is here a lot stronger compared to "normal" cemeteries where humans lie.

It's called a Pet Cemetery, but i'd rather prefer "Dog Cemetery" since there are only dogs. No Cats, no rats, no birds not even a hamster. Just dogs.

Another rule i'm breaking today: Normally i avoid pictures with the name on the headstone. But since here they are (come on! it's true!) just animals i'll risk it.

The quality of the pictures is not that extraordinary, but that wasn't the point here. I'm merely documenting the graves.

Here we go:

Monday, 29 August 2011

Melaten Cemetery, Cologne

Last weekend was finally the chance for me to visit the famous "Melaten-Friedhof" (Melaten Cemetery) in Cologne. It's one of the most important cemeteries in Germany, being one of the first to have a park cemetery and having a vast collection of notable sculptures.

Since our hobby is Geocaching we did two birds with one stone: There is  a multistaged Geocache hidden there which took us on a tour around this beautyful spot.

See for yourself:

Part of a roof on a big mausoleum

Familiar Angel (seen in Hamburg and Hannover as well)

Astonishingly beautiful example

And another one. Trumpet down is quite common though. 

Twenties style. Not roaring but still twenties. 

Add caption

My favourite there. Can't say why, but there you are... 

The most famous sculpture there. Let me introduce you "old Nick". 

Old Nick again.

It's a bit of a shame that this one is the most famous one there since it's not my definition of beauty. And it's a bit disappointing, too when you actually get there. It's in a quite corner and surrounded by trees *very* nearby so you are really struggling to get a proper photograph of it since light is everything. You could help yourself with a tripod but i travelled without one. High Iso is the key but then you get high noise as well. So heavy editing and b/w is the solution.

And the really dissapointing thing about "Old Nick": The scythe is made of plastic. Ts.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Johannis Cemetery Bielefeld -revisit-

It was a long time since i've actually visited a cemtery and that itself is a shame. But i was lucky yesterday, because the whole family (and a befriended one) went with me because we were out geocaching.

It happened that one multi-staged geocache is acutally located on the Johannis Cemetery in Bielefeld. And this Cemetery is my favourite within reach of my hometown.

While the others were searching for the hints for the cache i was looking around to take beautiful (or at least interesting) pictures. The Cemetery itself is not that huge, but there is still plenty of space for new graves. So at some places it is more than a park than a cemetery.

And it is a bit of a celebrity cemetery for all the rich and famous people that lived and died in Bielefeld. Not that many, though. Bielefeld is not that famous...

I found some nice examples of traditional cemetery sculptures there, but the more interesting ones are quite modern. They are not always beautiful but they are interesting.

Here's what i've done yesterday:

Fine example of beehive on a grave.

 This beauty is one of my favourite. She's a good example that modern art is not neccessarily ugly. Quite the opposite.

Another fine example of modern art


Art Deco, Detail on a huge Tombstone

The most modern Angel i've come across so far.

Male grief. Or practicing camouflage?

Bârad Dûr?

The beautiful Saccomanno-clone

The "original" is to be found in Staglieno, Genoa