Graves

 

 

Chile

 

Pueblo Pampa Union is a deserted mining town north of Carmen Alto. Many of the graves in its cemetery are in various stages of decay.

 

 

Chile 2011
Chile 2011
Chile 2011
Chile 2011
Chile 2011
(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011
Grave with offerings of coins, Pueblo Pampa. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Comoro Islands

 

 

Comorerne 1988
Cemetery, overgrown by a climber, corallita (Antigonon leptopus), Moroni, Grande Comore. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Denmark

 

The pictures below show Bronze Age graves on the island of Bornholm, one with stones laid to form a ship, the other a cone-shaped pile of stones with a depression in the centre, in Danish called a røse. – Many more megalithic structures are described on the page Culture: Megaliths.

 

 

Bornholm 1977-96
Bronze Age grave, shaped like a ship, Vestermarie Plantation, Bornholm. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bornholm 1999-2005
Crater-shaped røse, Bornholm. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity are dealt with in detail on the page Religion: Christianity.

 

 

Sjælland 2006-11
Tomb with Christ on the cross, Holtug Church, Zealand. The letters INRI are from the Latin, Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum, meaning ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Jylland 2000-05
This tombstone at Mårup Church, Jutland, is adorned with a Maltese Cross – a cross with four equal arms, each ending in two points. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Fyn 2005-08
Tombstone at Lyø Church, Funen, depicting a sun and a pigeon, with green algae growing in the carvings. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Heerup (1907-1993) was an all-round Danish artist, whose works include paintings, drawings, lithographs, linoleum cuts, and stone sculptures, besides the so-called ‘trash models’, which were composed of old trash.

 

 

Sjælland 2006-11
The tombstone of Henry Heerup and his wife Marion, in Assistens Churchyard, Copenhagen, is adorned with a carving, depicting one of his own drawings. The red leaves in the foreground are Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Jylland 2006-12
Tombstone of school principal Rasmus Bording and his wife Marie, Ry Church, Jutland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

This grave from the 1700s, situated on the islet of Christiansø, Bornholm, Denmark, contains the remains of a deceased German. The text translates as follows: “Anno 1737, on February 6, Skipper Peter Fenger, from Lübeck, has passed away to the abode of the Lord, and has been buried in this grave. Christ is my life, to die is my gain.”

 

 

Bornholm 2008-2
(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

The brilliant Danish linguist Rasmus Rask (1787-1832), born Rasmus Christian Nielsen Rasch, wrote several grammars and worked on comparative phonology and morphology. He traveled extensively to study languages, first to Iceland, where he wrote the first grammar of Icelandic, and later to Russia, Persia (today Iran), India, and Ceylon (today Sri Lanka). Rask was the first linguist to draw a connection between the ancient Norse, and the Western and Eastern Germanic languages, as well as to point out the relationship between Lithuanian, Slavonic, Greek, and Latin.

 

 

Sjælland 1969-2005
Tombstone of Danish linguist Rasmus Rask, Assistens Churchyard, Copenhagen. Note the various languages engraved on the stone, including runes, Hindi, and Arabic. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-1
The text on this old tombstone at Svaneke Church, Bornholm, Denmark, reads as follows: “Here lies the noble Lady Magdalene Margrete Hesler Müller, born in Haderslev on … 1652, died on December 6, 1706.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Sjælland 1969-2005
Two seasons in a Jewish cemetery, Nørrebro, Copenhagen. In the summer picture, a magpie (Pica pica) is sitting on one of the tombstones. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Sjælland 1969-2005
Tombstone in a Muslim graveyard, Copenhagen. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-2
Old tombstone, overgrown by common orange lichens (Xanthoria parietina), Christiansø, Bornholm. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Sjælland 2017
Tombstone of a farmer, with a relief, depicting a ploughing team, Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt

 

 

Egypten 1999
Muslim graveyard near the Giza Pyramids, illuminated by the evening sun. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Egypten 1999
Years ago, homeless people began to settle in a graveyard near the Hakim Mosque, Old Cairo. Over the years, an entire community has evolved – a town within the town of the dead. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Estonia

 

 

Europa 1972-2005
Iron cross on a grave, Piirsalu. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

Alperne 2018
Grave stones of Catholic nuns in the town of Dorfen, Bavaria. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Greece

 

 

Greek-orthodox grave, Rodopos Peninsula, Crete. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Greenland

 

 

Norden 1992-98
The graveyard in Nuuk, capital of Greenland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Guatemala

 

In this cemetery in the city of Antigua, ashes of the deceased are placed in recesses in a wall to conserve space. You may read more about Guatemala on the page Travel episodes – Guatemala 1998: Country of the Mayans.

 

 

Guatemala 1998
(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Guatemala 1998
The text on this gravestone reads as follows: ‘Old, my dear old José Guillermo España’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

In November 1998, hurricane ‘Mitch’ created havoc in Guatemala and other Central American countries. Unofficial reports claimed that about 1,900 millimetres of rain was dumped by this hurricane. Unfortunately, its occurrence coincided with the Catholic Festival of the Dead, which takes place on November 1st and 2nd. However, this did not deter people from performing their usual ceremonies during this festival, including visits to cemeteries to honour deceased relatives.

Our adventures during this hurricane are related on the page Travel episodes – Guatemala 1998: Country of the Mayans.

 

 

Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
Despite heavy rainfall during the Festival of the Dead in 1998, people nevertheless gathered in this cemetery in Chichicastenango to decorate the graves of their relatives, and to burn candles or incense. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

New grave, adorned with grass, and a cross made from marigolds, Chichicastenango. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

India

 

Taj Mahal (‘Crown of the Palace’) is a mausoleum near the city of Agra, northern India, erected by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan to honour his favourite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum, called Mumtaz Mahal (‘Chosen One of the Palace’). She died in 1630 after giving birth to her fourteenth child. Construction of this mausoleum lasted 22 years, from 1632 to 1654.

 

 

Nordindien 1985-86
Taj Mahal in morning fog. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nordindien 1985-86
Ornaments on the sarcophagus of Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Humayun, whose real name was Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad, was the second emperor of the Moghul Empire, comprising what is today north-western India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Humayun ruled in two periods, 1531-1540 and 1555-1556. He died in 1556, when he fell down the staircase to his library, hitting his head on the rough stone steps.

 

 

Nordindien 1997
Mausoleum of Moghul Emperor Humayun, Delhi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

In November 1618, the Danish King Christian IV ordered admiral Ove Giedde to sail to India with five ships. The aim of this journey was to establish a trading station under the Royal Danish East India Company, to be able to supply the Motherland with cheap spices and textiles. Two years later, Giedde and his crew reached the Coromandel Coast, at the mouth of River Kaveri in present-day Tamil Nadu, South India.

Following negotiations with the Prince of Thanjavur, Giedde obtained permission to build a trading station, which was called Trankebar (in English Tranquebar) – a corruption of the local Tamil name of the place, Tarangambadi, which means ‘singing waves’. In 1660, a fort was completed, named Dansborg (’Danish Castle’). Behind this fort, a town sprang up, fortified with moats and walls, through which a number of gates gave access to the town.

 

 

Sydindien 2000-01
Gravestone at the New Jerusalem Church, Tranquebar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesia

 

The Batak are a group of closely realated Austronesian peoples, including the Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing, who live in a large area of northern Sumatra. My acquaintance with these people stems from a visit to Lake Toba in 1975.

More pictures of the Batak may be seen on the pages People: Children around the world, and Culture: Musicians.

 

 

Sydøstasien 1975
Royal Batak graves in the village of Tomok, Samosir Island, Lake Toba. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Iran

 

Mashhad, eastern Iran, is a sacred city to the Shi’a Muslims. The origin of the two major denominations within Islam, Sunni and Shi’a, almost date back to the foundation of Islam. Following the death of the Prophet Muhammed, in 632 A.D., certain Muslims, who later called themselves Shi’a (from Shi’atu Ali, ‘followers of Ali’), only acknowledged direct descendants of the Prophet as his heirs, maintaining that God, via Muhammed, had selected his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (601-661), who was also his son-in-law, as imam – leader of Islam. Ali’s sons, Hassan and Husain, were imam number two and three, succeeded by their descendants.

In 681, Husain and his followers went to Iraq to fight against the Caliph of Damascus, who claimed that he was the true heir of Muhammad, selected by a council of elders. The Shi’a did not acknowledge this choice, maintaining that only God could appoint Muhammed’s heirs. In a battle at Karbala, Husain and his men were all killed, and from this day, the Caliphs of Damascus, and later Baghdad, held the power within Islam.

Instead of the caliphs, the Shi’a acknowledge a succession of 12 imams, all descendants of the Prophet. They maintain that the 12th imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mahdi (868-941), disappeared, but will return in due time as the ultimate saviour of mankind and, together with Isa (Jesus Christ), bring peace and justice to the World.

In 818, the 8th imam, Ali ibn Musa al-Riḍha (in Iran known as Imam Reza), was murdered by order of the Abbasid Caliph, al-Ma’mun. The place he was buried was called Mashhad al-Ridha (‘Martyrdom of al-Riḍha’), and in the late 9th Century, a dome was erected on the grave. Later, numerous other buildings were built on this place, today constituting the largest Islamic temple complex.

 

 

Sydøstasien 1975
Tiles on the outer wall, surrounding the mausoleum of Imam Reza, Mashad. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Ireland

 

At Gleann Dá Loch (‘Valley of Two Lakes’), also known as Glendalough, south-eastern Ireland, numerous ancient tombstones are centered around a ruined cathedral and the so-called Round Tower, built around 800 A.D. From this tower, Christians were called to prayer.

Early Christianity is described in detail on the page Religion: Christianity.

 

 

Irland 1987-99
Ruined cathedral, tombstones, and the Round Tower, Gleann Dá Loch. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Irland 1987-99
Tombstones, one formed as a cross with a circle, Gleann Dá Loch. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Irland 1987-99
Stone cross in a graveyard, Boston, western Ireland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Italy

 

 

Alperne 2018a
Alperne 2018a
Catholic graves in the village of Saletto, Chiusaforte, Dolomites, lavishly decorated with various sculptures, depicting for instance Virgin Mary, and Jesus, being taken down from the Cross. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan

 

The Nabataeans were an Arab people, in Arabic called al-ʾAnbāṭ, who, around the 1st Century A.D., lived in the northern part of the Arabic Peninsula and in present-day Jordan and Israel. Their assumed capital was Raqmu, today called Petra, which had an estimated population of 20,000.

 

 

Asien 1977-78
Nabataean graves, built into eroded mountains, Petra. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Malawi

 

Due to the rocky surface on Likoma Island, Lake Malawi, most graves are above ground, covered by small rocks. – My visit to this island is related on the page Travel episodes – Malawi 1997: A three-day ferry cruise on Lake Malawi.

 

 

Sydlige Afrika 1996-97
(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia

 

Dayak is the common name of various Malayan tribes in Borneo. My adventures during a stay with the Punan people are related on the page Travel episodes – Borneo 1975: Canoe trip with Punan tribals.

 

 

Sydøstasien 1975
Burial pole of a Punan chief, Sarawak. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal

 

When they pass away, most Hindus are cremated, preferably at a sacred river, where the ashes of the deceased can be distributed in the holy waters. In Kathmandu, most cremations take place along the sacred Bagmati River, a tributary to the mighty Mother Ganga.

Other Hindu rituals are described on the page Religion: Hinduism.

 

 

dnepal-cremation-1_resize
Prior to the cremation, many rituals are performed by the relatives, including throwing rice and dyes on the deceased. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

dnepal-cremation-2_resize
The body is placed on a platform on the river bank, covered in straw and wood, which is then ignited. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

The pictures below show tombstones in a huge graveyard near Whanganui River, North Island.

 

 

(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines

 

Previously, Bontoc tribals of northern Luzon placed their deceased relatives in coffins, which were stacked in limestone caves. Today, most Bontocs are Christians, and this old custom is no longer utilized. The pictures below are from 1984, when the coffins were already in various stages of decay.

 

 

Filippinerne 1984
Filippinerne 1984
Coffins with remains of Bontoc tribals, stacked in limestone caves near the village of Sagada. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Filippinerne 1984
Entertaining the dead: Young man, playing a concertina on a grave, adorned with a large Bougainvillea spectabilis, Bontoc, Luzon. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Scotland

 

 

United Kingdom 1992-2002
Old, lichen-covered tombstones in morning light, Drymen, Loch Lomond. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan

 

Daoist graves in Taiwan are often quite ornate, built to reflect the status and wealth of the deceased. The graves are often adorned with images of Daoist gods, various animals like lions and elephants, dragons which symbolize power, strength, and good luck, and the Feng-Huang (often erroneously called ‘Chinese Phoenix’), which symbolizes virtue, duty, mercy, and grace.

Gods, dragons, Feng-Huang, and various other aspects of Daoism are described in depth on the page Religion: Daoism in Taiwan.

The following ten pictures show Daoist graves in the city of Taichung.

 

 

htaiwan_2012_556_p1_resize
This grave is guarded by the Daoist god of earth and agriculture, Tu-di-Gong. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
The text on this image reads ‘Dragon God’, but it probably depicts Tu-di-Gong. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
This grave is guarded by an elephant and a Daoist goddess. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
taiwan_2012_559_p1_resize
taiwan_2012_560_resize
Sculptures, depicting lions, are often placed as guards at Daoist graves. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018b
This grave is adorned with images of Feng-Huang. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018b
Daoist grave with food offerings and fake paper money, kept in place by a rock to prevent them from blowing away. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
On Tomb Sweeping Day, wild plants, which have invaded Daoist graves, are burned, the grave is cleaned, and the ancestors worshipped. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
When a Daoist tomb is no longer used, relatives often smash the grave and split the tombstone. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

The Hakka are a large minority group in Taiwan, counting around 4.6 million, most of whom are descended from Hakka people, who migrated here from southern China around 1640.

 

 

Taiwan 2011
Taiwan 2011
Hakka tombs, near Miaoli. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

Tyrkiet 2006
Tyrkiet 2006
Graveyard in the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Tyrkiet 2018
Simple Muslim grave stone, Istanbul. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Tyrkiet 2006
Lycian cave graves, dating from the 4th century A.D., carved into a rockface near the present-day town of Fethiye, south-western Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

These pictures are from Cabrillo Memorial, a graveyard for veterans in San Diego, California. The tombstones are identical, apart from the engraved names of the deceased.

 

 

Californien 2013
Californien 2013
Californien 2013
Californien 2013b
(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
Western wood pewee (Contopus sordidulus), taking off from a gravestone, Cabrillo Memorial. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 1998-99
This tombstone in Pemaquid Harbor, Maine, has been overgrown by lichens. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 1998-99
Tombstones near the town of New Lebanon, New York State. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Californien 2013a
Californien 2013a
Californien 2013a
Graves in the Cahuilla Indian Reservation Cemetery, near Anza, California. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

USA 2012a
Decorated grave, St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Huntington, Long Island. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, was established in 1827. Until 1832, the church did not have a building, and members met in private homes. The original building was built out of crude, unfinished logs and is not the building you see today, which was constructed in 1887.

 

 

USA 2012a
Tombstones in front of Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Cottage Grove Cemetery in Kern Valley, California, is a colourful place, in which many graves are adorned with various items.

 

 

Californien 2011
Californien 2013a
Graves of little children, adorned with toys. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2011
This grave is adorned with plastic flowers and the American national flag, ‘Stars and Stripes’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013a
Grave, adorned with a ‘butterfly’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnam

 

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), born Nguyen Sinh Cung, was a North Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam 1945-1955 and as President 1945-1969.

 

 

Ho Chi Minh is the great hero of Vietnam. Every day, thousands of people queue up to pay a visit to his mausoleum in Hanoi. This picture shows marching soldiers at the entrance to the mausoleum. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

 

Zimbabwe

 

Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) was a British businessman, who served as Prime Minister of the British Cape Colony 1890-1896. In 1895, together with his British South Africa Company, Rhodes founded the Territory of Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe and Zambia), which the company named after him.

 

 

Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
The grave of Cecil John Rhodes atop a rocky outcrop in Matobo National Park. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

(Uploaded October 2016)

 

(Latest update March 2020)