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:
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: