Monday, March 27, 2006

Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen

I was surprised by the cute little office-cottage at the gates of Schoonselhof;surprised because Schoonselhof is Antewrpen's main cemetery and the cottage seemed like something Snow White might have shared with her seven dwarves. Schoonselhof began life as an estate, with its castle being used as a summerhouse for wealthy Antwerpen traders during the 16th century. Julius Moretus was the last owner and when he died in 1911 the city bought the 84 hectare estate for use as a cemetery. They were inspired by the 1784 royal decree of Emperor Jozef II, who wanted to end burials in churches and churchyards and relocate burial grounds outside city centres. It's a big cemetery, with interesting sections. We wandered through the area where the famous of Antwerpen were buried ... writers, sculptors, and aldermen to name a few. I was intrigued by this grave that had been made anonymous by ivy. There's also a Commonwealth section, with 101 soldiers from world war one, and another 1,465 from the second world war buried there.
What inspired the visit ...?
Well, I have one of those one month -as-many-tram-rides-as-you-want-to-take tram tickets. Schoonselhof cemetery is at the end of Tram 24's route. Gert has made me a map with every tram route marked on it ... let's see where the trams can take me.

4 comments:

Alison said...

I believe this is the cemetary that my great-uncle is burried in. There's an interesting story of my 'visit' here

woman wandering said...

Related to Captain Cook and this ... :)

The gates were open on Sunday and I know what you mean about needles and haystacks. I wouldn't mind going back with some kind of map another day.

Alison said...

You can take us when my Mom is here. I'm sure she wants to see it and we have a 'sort of' map from the Canadian Gov't site. It is a beautiful spot.

woman wandering said...

Sure Alison :) we only explored a little and I'm curious to see the Commonwealth area.