Hólavallagarður cemetery in Reykjavík made the National Geographic’s recent listing of the five ‘Loveliest Cemeteries’ in Europe. Readers are encouraged to not look at cemeteries as gloomy and ghostly but rather as cultural relics and a kind of botanical gardens.
“Inside the moss-covered wall that rings the eight-acre property, narrow paths wind around headstones, some adorned with barely discernible engravings,” writes the article’s author, Jeanine Barone, of Hólavallagarður.
“Birch and rowan … provide shade in what amounts to one of the more densely wooded forests in the capital city. The air is alive with the fluttering of birds,” Barone continues, then pointing out a special Icelandic tradition. “During the Christmas season … this 19th-century cemetery is aglow from the candles relatives leave on the graves of their loved ones.”
The five cemeteries listed are all located in capital cities. The others are Msida Bastion Garden: Valletta, Malta; Hietaniemi Cemetery: Helsinki, Finland; Mirogoj Cemetery: Zagreb, Croatia and Prazeres Cemetery: Lisbon, Portugal.
Read Barone’s full article here.