31 May 2008

"Gothic Britain", part2 - Cemeteries...

British cemeteries are SO different from spanish ones. I once read that british cemeteries were conceived as places to have a quiet walk....a place to relax not only for the dead but also for the undead...I don´t know if this is true but I totally agree with it. British cemeteries are relaxing, there are only tombstones lying around, with a huge margin of space between each other.

Very different are spanish cemeteries indeed. Cemeteries are little cities or "urbis" in the middle of a city populated by alive souls. When you get into a spanish cemetery, the first thing that claims your attention are the caotic scenography: tombs of any size lying everywhere, in front of you, behind you, both sides...simple ones and grandiose ones whose owners -now dead- seem to try to oustage the others from the Death just to let everyone know they WERE someone important in life.
I don´t know if this a catholic thing or is just one of my stupid theories, but the fact of believing so passionately in the after-life is what drives people to see the graveyard as the "second home". In fact, in some places of Spain it is tradition that the relatives go often to the graveyard to clean it and look after it.....
Another building which is quite particular in spanish or catholic graveyards is the panteon (that ashtonishing building, often of a gothic or neo-gothic style that helds the tomb inside) these panteon can be big enough to be a shoe-box/flat!
The next time I go home, I will take pics of the tombs, there are some stunning ones!

By the way, every time I think of cemeteries, this quote comes to my mind:

“The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't get out and those outside don't want to get in.” (Arthur Brisbane, american editor and writer 1864-1880)

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