Dublin Photos Part 4 – Glasnevin Cemetery

The friend with whom I traveled to Ireland is a huge cemetery geek. She’s not a goth, she simply likes cemeteries. And when she read Dublin’s about Glasnevin Cemetery, she wanted to visit.

Initially I wasn’t quite so keen on visiting the cemetery, because it is located a fair bit outside the city centre and only accessible by bus. Besides, I had a backache on the morning we planned to visit the cemetery and stumbling around among old graves is not exactly conductive to backaches. However, my backache improved over the course of the morning and so we took the bus out to the cemetery. And the visit was definitely worth it, because Glasnevin Cemetery is absolutely fascinating.

And of course, James Joyce mentioned it in Ulysses, appropriately in the “Hades” chapter. If anything, this trip makes me wants to look at Ulysses again, which I slogged through in university.

Photos can be found behind the cut:

Glasnevin cemetary

View of Glasnevin Cemetery with the enclosure wall and the O'Connell monument


These watchtowers in the cemetery wall were originally intended to deter graverobbers.

O'Connell Monument

This tower marks the grave of Daniel O'Connell, former mayor of Dublin, who created Glasnevin as a cemetery open to both Catholics and Protestants.

Inside the O'Connell Monument

Inside the O'Connell Monument

Easter Rising monument

Monument to those executed during the Easter rising of 1916


Chapel with gravestones


Various gravestones

Angel statue

Angel statue marking a grave

Celtic cross gravestone

Celtic cross gravestone. There were similar stones all over the cemetery.


Grave of an actor who is depicted dressed as Hamlet


Grave of a priest


And here is a nun. Interestingly enough, the inscription on the grave mentions a husband, so there's probably no nun interred here.

Holy family

Another gravestone with an interesting statue of the holy family and a frieze of the last supper

What struck me most, considering I am used to the rather plain cemeteries in protestant North Germany, is that elaborate graves were not limited to the 19th century. Indeed, recent graves of people who had died in the past ten years or so were often as elaborate as the older graves. This is a striking contrast to North German cemeteries, where you hardly ever see a statue on a grave erected after WWI. Quite often, you only have a family name on a gravestone, not even the names and dates of those that rest underneath, let alone photos. The reason is usually the prohibitively high costs of even a simple gravestone. And of late, even people who still have living family are interred anonymously. We actually saw an anonymous gravesite at Glasnevin Cemetery, but it was for stillborn babies.

And now for some newer graves:


Elaborate recent grave


More new graves with elaborate gravestones, decorated with all sorts of toys and figurines

Memorial wall

This is a memorial wall for people I assume have been cremated. There were several such walls at the cemetery.

Memorial wall

Here's another memorial wall. There were several different styles.

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