Guatemala part IV - Cemeteries


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Published: April 12th 2016
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Chichicastenango Chichicastenango Chichicastenango

The cemetery in Chichicastenango must be one of the most colourful in the world

Graves en masse





When we travel we now and again visit cemeteries. Partly because it is an important aspect of the local culture how dead relatives are taken care of and partly because it often is easy to take nice photos of graves, hence we have something to add to the blog when we come home. You probably haven't noticed but in the previous blog entries from Guatemala I haven't added any pictures from cemeteries. It's because the cemeteries I did visit when I was there were so interesting that I decided to make a separate blog entry for those photos.



I visited three cemeteries, one in Quetzaltenango, one in Chichicastenango and finally one in Antigua.



The three cemeteries were quite different in style. In Quetzaltenango the graves were impressive in size, many of them were like monuments, and several of them were painted in bright colours.



The cemetery in Chichicastenango must be one of the most colourful in the world. Almost every grave was pained in bright colours and I am quite certain that they repainted all of them every five years or so because there were hardly
Quetzaltenango Quetzaltenango Quetzaltenango

In Quetzaltenango the graves were impressive in size
a single grave where the paint had faded.



The best way I can describe the cemetery in Antigua was that it was very elegant in style. Not necessarily better or more beautiful, but more elegant. The dominating colours were white, almost all of the graves were white, and green, the decorations around the graves were almost all green plants. The cemetery in Antigua I visited in late afternoon. The rays from the setting sun made the graves glow and gave the sky a bluish glow. Look carefully at the photos and you'll see that I managed to catch some of that magic late afternoon/early evening light in some of them.



If you are interested in visiting cemeteries we can here in the end mention some other ones we have been to. If you wish to see impressive graves one of the best places to go is Paris. Pere Lachaise Cemetery is very famous partly for the several hundreds of fabulous tombs that can be seen there and partly for it being the final resting place for Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Moliere and Oscar Wilde. But there are also several other cemeteries in Paris, some of them quite as interesting as Pere Lachese.

Antigua Antigua Antigua

The cemetery in Antigua was very elegant in style


Another interesting cemetery we have visited is Merry Cemetery in Sapanta in Romania. We went there last year and we thought it was so interesting that we dedicated an entire blog entry to it .



We can also recommend an internet site called Find A Grave. In that site they have listed the final resting place of several thousands of more or less famous people. It is not a bad idea to combine a visit to a cemetery with some grave spotting.



Well, this is all for now. I will return shortly with the final blog entry from Guatemala. It is yet another blog with one specific theme. Which theme it is I won't reveal yet.


Additional photos below
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Chichicastenango Chichicastenango
Chichicastenango

Almost every grave is pained in bright colours
Chichicastenango Chichicastenango
Chichicastenango

Nice colours
Chichicastenango Chichicastenango
Chichicastenango

I am quite certain that they repainted all of them every five years or so because there were hardly a single grave where the paint had faded
Antigua Antigua
Antigua

The dominating colours were white and green
Antigua Antigua
Antigua

The cemetery in Antigua I visited in late afternoon
Antigua Antigua
Antigua

The rays from the setting sun made the graves glow and gave the sky a bluish glow
Antigua Antigua
Antigua

Look carefully at the photos and you'll see that I managed to catch some of that magic late afternoon/early evening light in some of them
Quetzaltenango Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango

Several of the graves in Quetzaltenango were painted in bright colours
Quetzaltenango Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango

Many of the graves in Quetzaltenango were like monuments


12th April 2016
Quetzaltenango

You are right
Visiting cemeteries is an integral part of celebrating life and the culture of the people. Nice blog. Excellent photos.
13th April 2016
Quetzaltenango

We think alike
We think alike then. You can explain it better than I do. Finding the right expression is difficult since English isn't my native language. /Ake
12th April 2016
Chichicastenango

Another cemetery buff!
I love cemeteries and always always visit them, too! Great that you dedicated a blog to three very contrasting ones! I adore the one in this photo with its virgin and holy ghost, clearly painted with love by a local. And the three styles reflect their cities from elegant Antigua with its colonial monuments to colorful, indigenous Chichicastanango. The monumental ones of Quetzaltenango remind me of monumental Arequipa, Peru, and of the wonderful ones in Punta Arenas, Chile. So many cemeteries, so little time (hehe).
13th April 2016
Chichicastenango

Glad you liked it
Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you liked the blog entry. Your comment also adds a better perspective of the three cemeteries. Thanks for helping me make the entry better. /Ake
14th April 2016

Graves en masse
Cemeteries are places of memories. Wonderful to see the colourful and well maintained Chichicastenango, Ake. I do a fair bit of Deceased Estates legal work so I see the best and worst of people at those times. I thus find it quite uplifting to see memory of the dear departed preserved but I also find neglected cemeteries as sad places albeit interesting.
15th April 2016

Neglected cemeteries being interesting
You wrote that neglected cemeteries are sad but can be interesting. I find abandoned places very fascinating. I often find for instance ghost towns or crumbling houses very beautiful and picturesque. Sure, they also make me a bit sad because they are also a reminder that our life here is short and fragile and that we all one day will be gone and forgotten. We have over the years published a few blog entries with pictures of ghost towns. Most notably would be one on Chernobyl and one on Bodie in California. But we also have one named Unusual sightseeing in Smaland (blog #818773), it is about an abandoned car wrecking yard. Places like that we call modern ruins and when we come by them we try to visit them /Ake

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