Saturday, April 7, 2018

'Barichara cemetery- a Colombian patrimony, Part-I' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited the cemetery at Barichara - a small town in Colombia. This cemetery is famous for the beauty of its surroundings and of well carved grave stones. This town in northern Colombia  is known for its cobbled streets and colonial architecture. In the center, the sandstone Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción features a gold-leaf altar. Other significant churches include whitewashed Capilla de San Antonio, built in the 19th century, and hilltop Capilla de Santa Barbara. On the town’s western outskirts, Cementerio Barichara is a cemetery with ornate tombs.

This site is noted for its carved stone tombs, many of them adorned with iron crosses. Here lie dozens of patiamarillos (“yellow feet”); that’s what the people of Barichara are called, reportedly because of the yellow color of the streets.

Take a look:


This cemetery features a sample of the local stone carvers’ artistic ability. At times, these artists have represented classic symbolic funeral pieces or images of Jesus of the Sacred Heart and of Virgin Mary. At others, upon request by the bereaved, they have recreated the elements that represent the line of work, personality, and tastes of the deceased. And yet others, they have created their versions of masterpieces, such as Gaudi’s The Last Supper. All of the interpretations make for splendid epitaphs. 


(Text based on information available at this cemetery and from the internet.)

Monday, April 2, 2018

"Face to face with 'Angel of Grief' in Campo Cestio Cemetery Rome" - by K.J.S.Chatrath


I visited the Campo Cestio or the Protestant's Cemetery in  Rome. It is a huge and impressive cemetery. One of the important graves that I visited was of Emelyn Story and her husband W.W.Story where I came face to face with 'Angel of Grief'.

First a brief backgrounder on who was W.W. Story and what is 'Angel of Grief'. William Wetmore Story was an American sculptor, art critic, poet, and editor.

  William Wetmore Story
 (Photo source: Wikipedia)

Story died at Vallombrosa Abbey, Italy, a place to which he had a sentimental attachment, and which he chronicled in an informal travel journal, Vallombrosa in 1881. He is buried with his wife, Emelyn Story, in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome, under a statue of his own design- Angel of Grief. Its full title as given by the creator was The Angel of Grief Weeping Over the Dismantled Altar of Life.

The term is now used to describe multiple grave stones throughout the world erected in the style of the Story stone. A feature in The Guardian called the design "one of the most copied images in the world".[1] Story himself wrote that "It represents the angel of Grief, in utter abandonment, throwing herself with drooping wings and hidden face over a funeral altar. "[2]

Source of the above photo: Wikipedia

(1) Stanford, Peter (2 March 2013). "The 10 best... famous graves". The Guardian.

(2) James, Henry (2015). William Wetmore Story and His Friends (abridged and annotated ed.). Big Byte Books. 

(Text with inputs from the internet)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

'Barichara Cemetery in Colombia - a curtain raiser' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

Barichara Cemetery in Colombia- considered to be one of the patrimonies of the country. I visited this cemetery in 2017. A photo article on it coming soon on my websites & blogs.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

'Punta Arena cemetery, Chile' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited the Punta Arena cemetery in Chile on 21st November 2017.

It has been selected as 15 classics of Chile. CNN chose it as one of the ten most beautiful cemeteries in the world. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Pet's cemetery, Paris' by K.J.S.Chatrath

One has to give it to the French - they are loving and sensitive people. Who  else could have thought of giving a decent burial to one's pets and remembering them, year after year.  I had heard about this unusual cemetery for dogs and pets in Paris. When I visited Paris in 2014, I had kept half a day in my programme to search and visit this cemetery.

Locating it was not all that difficult, but it did involve changing of metro trains  and a decent bit of walking. I did reach the Cemetery at around 10 am. To my utter horror, I discovered that it was the weekly closed day for the cemetery.The large entrance gate was securely locked.  I kicked myself for not having checked up before choosing that day.

I took a round around the boundry of the cemetery and took some photographs. When I was at one of the side doors, I saw an old car arriving. The occupant got down near the gate, opened the door with a key went in and the door got locked again. I could see him walking around in the cemetery and tending it here and there. I waited. After about half an hour or so, the gentleman came out of the entrance gate again.

I swiftly went to him and greeted him in my badly broken French.  Then I quickly told him that I had come from India and was interested in visiting this unique cemetery and taking some photographs. 'Sorry', he said, 'today is the weekly off day. Come tomorrow and I will show you around.' But Sir, I am taking a flight back to India tomorrow morning, I pleaded. He looked at me again. Here was me, an old man, in simple clothes pleading in French. He repeated that according to rules, he could not let me enter the cemetery on a closed day. Being an ex-bureaucrat, I appreciated his stand. I thanked him, turned around and started walking away slowly and sadly

'Monsieur, s'il vous plait' he called me softly. I returned back to him and said 'Oui Monsieur'. He told me in French to give him my camera. 'But you stay her at the gate' he added. 'I will quickly take some photographs for you.' He went in with the camera and returned after a few minutes.

And here are the photos that he took for me. In my excitement I forget even to ask him his name.

 'Merci bien, Monsieur.!

P.S. I have added a watermark giving my name on all these photographs. I realised later that it was not correct that only the first four photos were taken by me and the rest by that benefactor.

The Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (The cemetery of dogs and other domestic animals) is often claimed to be the first zoological necropolis in the modern world. It opened in 1899 at 4 pont de Clichy on Île des Ravageurs in Asnières-sur-Seine, Île-de-France, France.
Address: 4 Pont de Clichy, 92600 Asnières-sur-Seine, France

Phone: +33 1 40 86 21 11