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Journey Through Eternity: 39 of the Most Famous Cemeteries in the World

Image of the Saqqara Necropolis in modern day Egypt for a blog post covering the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Welcome, fellow wanderers and curious souls, to a journey through some of the most famous cemeteries in the world!

From solemn mausoleums to sprawling gardens of remembrance, these hallowed grounds tell stories of lives lived, legacies left, and the passage of time itself.

Now, before we tread further into this exploration, let’s acknowledge the vastness of the world’s burial grounds.

While we’re here to uncover these 39 remarkable sites, we do so with the understanding that countless other fascinating cemeteries await discovery, each with its own tales to tell and secrets to share.

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So, grab your metaphorical passport and let’s embark on this voyage through history, memory, and the eternal resting places of the departed.

39 of the Most Famous Cemeteries in the World in Detail

Kicking off our list of 39 remarkable cemeteries from around the globe is the Necropolis of Saqqara, Egypt.

As the oldest in our compilation, Saqqara stands as a testament to ancient Egyptian civilization, showcasing a rich tapestry of history and architectural marvels that have captivated humanity for millennia.

Image of the Pyramid of Djoser at the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt for an article covering the most famous cemeteries in the world.
The Pyramid of 3rd Dynasty Pharoah Djoser (c. 2600 BC) at the Saqqara necropolis

1. Necropolis of Saqqara | Saqqara, Egypt (est. ~3000 BC)

The Necropolis of Saqqara, situated in Egypt, is not just any cemetery; it’s one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a cornerstone of ancient Egyptian history.

This vast burial ground served as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis, and has been a final resting place for over 3,000 years, dating back to the 1st Dynasty (around 3100 BCE).

Saqqara is home to numerous pyramids, including the Step Pyramid of Djoser, one of the earliest pyramids and a marvel of ancient engineering.

This site encapsulates the evolution of Egyptian tomb construction, offering insight into the architectural genius of ancient civilizations.

Among its many treasures, Saqqara houses the tombs of kings, courtiers, and nobles, including powerful pharaohs and high officials from various dynasties.

It is a sprawling testament to the beliefs, art, and architecture of ancient Egypt, with its intricate tomb paintings, hieroglyphs, and statues offering a glimpse into the past.

The ongoing archaeological discoveries continue to unveil the complexities of ancient Egyptian society, making Saqqara a vital link to understanding the rich tapestry of human history.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Necropolis of Saqqara stands as a monument to eternity, drawing scholars, historians, and tourists eager to explore the mysteries of the ancient world.

Image of the Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem.
The Mount of Olives Cemetery in present day Jerusalem

2. Mount of Olives Cemetery | Jerusalem, Israel (est. ~1000 BC)

The Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem is not just one of the most famous cemeteries in the world; it’s also one of the oldest.

Dating back over 3,000 years, this sacred site has been a final resting place for generations.

Located on the eastern side of the Old City, it holds a special place in the hearts of many, offering panoramic views of Jerusalem’s ancient walls.

This cemetery is home to over 150,000 graves, including notable figures like prophets, rabbis, and politicians.

Among the famous buried here are Nobel Prize laureate Shai Agnon and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

What makes the Mount of Olives so unique isn’t just its age or the famous people buried there.

It’s steeped in religious and historical significance, making it a place of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

Visitors come from all corners of the globe to explore its serene paths, soak in its history, and reflect on the stories of those who have passed.

Imag e of the tomb of Confucius for a blog post covering the most famous cemeteries in the world.
The tomb of the world-renowned Chinese philosopher, Confucius, in Qufu, China

3. Cemetery of Confucious | Qufu, China (est. 479 BC)

The Cemetery of Confucius, located in Qufu, Shandong Province, China, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a profound symbol of Chinese cultural heritage.

It is the final resting place of Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher whose teachings have influenced Eastern thought for centuries.

Established in 479 BC, shortly after Confucius’ death, the cemetery has been expanded over time and now covers about 200 hectares.

It’s not just a cemetery; it’s a sacred site that pays homage to Confucius and his descendants, with more than 100,000 graves spanning over 2,500 years of history.

Among the pine and cypress trees, the most notable burial is that of Confucius himself, whose tombstone is modest yet deeply revered.

The Cemetery of Confucius is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Temple and Family Mansion of Confucius, making it a significant destination for those seeking insight into the life and legacy of one of history’s greatest thinkers.

This serene and historic site attracts scholars, tourists, and those drawn to the teachings of Confucius, offering a unique glimpse into the continuity of Chinese tradition and the respect for ancestry and learning that define it.

Image of tombs at the Wadi-us-Salaam Cemetery in Iraq for a blog post discussing the most famous cemeteries in the world.
Mausoleums at the ancient Wadi-us-Salaam Cemetery in present-day Najaf, Iraq

4. Wadi-us-Salaam Cemetery | Najaf, Iraq (est. ~600 AD)

Wadi-us-Salaam, located in Najaf, Iraq, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and holds a profound significance in the hearts of Shia Muslims.

Its name translates to “Valley of Peace,” a fitting title for the largest Islamic cemetery on earth.

Dating back over 1,400 years, its origins are intertwined with the founding of Islam, making it a site of immense historical and spiritual importance.

The cemetery spans an incredible area, with millions of tombs stretching as far as the eye can see, reflecting centuries of Islamic history.

Among its countless graves, Wadi-us-Salaam is the final resting place for many prominent figures in Islamic history, including prophets, imams, and scholars, drawing pilgrims and visitors from around the globe.

Notably, it is said to be the burial site of Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, making it a deeply revered location.

The cemetery’s vast expanse and the sea of tombs offer a unique perspective on the Islamic traditions of burial and remembrance.

Its ongoing significance and the constant addition of new gravesites underscore the deep cultural and religious connections that have made Wadi-us-Salaam a pivotal site for centuries.

Image of a path through the Japanese cemetery Okunoin.
A tree-lined path through Okunoin Cemetery at Mount Koya, Japan

5. Okunoin Cemetery – Mount Koya, Japan (est. 816)

Okunoin Cemetery, nestled on the sacred Mount Koya in Japan, is not only one of the most famous cemeteries in the world but also the largest in Japan, offering a serene and spiritual experience unlike any other.

Established over 1,200 years ago by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism, it serves as a pilgrimage site for many.

The cemetery, surrounded by ancient, towering cedar trees, stretches over two kilometers, leading to Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum, where he is said to be in eternal meditation.

Walking through Okunoin is like stepping into another world, where over 200,000 tombstones and memorials line the paths, creating a peaceful yet eerie atmosphere.

Amongst its famous burials are many prominent monks, feudal lords, and samurai, but what truly sets Okunoin apart are the unique gravestones, including those shaped like rockets and coffee cups, representing the deceased’s interests or companies.

The cemetery embodies a profound blend of history, religion, and nature, making it a must-visit for those looking to explore Japan’s rich cultural tapestry and the tranquility of its most revered resting place.

Image of the front of Westminster Abbey for a blog post covering the most famous cemeteries in the world.
Front facade of Westminster Abbey in London

6. Westminster Abbey | London, England, United Kingdom (est. 1066)

Westminster Abbey may not be one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, strictly speaking, because it’s actually a grand church in the heart of London.

But, let’s not split hairs; it’s a place brimming with history and the final resting spot for some pretty notable figures.

Opening its doors over a thousand years ago, this architectural marvel has witnessed the coronations, weddings, and burials of English and, later, British royalty.

It’s like a time capsule, but for real-life stories.

Though not a cemetery in the traditional sense, Westminster Abbey is home to the graves and memorials of more than 3,300 people.

This includes kings, queens, poets, scientists, and politicians.

Names like Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin find their eternal rest here.

Walking through, it’s like flipping through the pages of a history book, except the stories are told in stone and stained glass.

It’s a place of reflection, awe, and a bit of learning, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in the tales of those who’ve shaped our world.

Image of the Cemetery at Laeken in Brussels, Belgium.
Church of Our Lady of Laeken with the cemetery in the foreground

7. Cemetary at Laeken | Brussels Belgium (est. 1275)

The Cemetery of Laeken in Brussels, with its roots tracing back to 1275, is indeed steeped in deep historical significance, making it one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Originally, the area served as the site for the Church of Our Lady of Laeken, established in the 13th century.

Over the centuries, it evolved, and by the 19th century, it had expanded to include a cemetery that would become the final resting place for Belgian royalty and notable figures.

This long history reflects the changing architectural styles and funerary art that mark the evolution of European cemeteries, making Laeken a rich tapestry of Brussels’ cultural and historical legacy.

The cemetery is perhaps best known for its remarkable collection of sculpted tombs, elaborate mausoleums, and the Royal Crypt, where members of the Belgian Royal Family are buried.

It’s not just a place of rest but a sanctuary of art and history, where visitors can walk through centuries of Belgian life and legacy.

The Gothic Revival Church of Our Lady of Laeken, commissioned by Leopold I as a memorial to his wife, Queen Louise-Marie, overlooks the cemetery, adding to its historic ambiance.

The Cemetery of Laeken serves as a bridge between the past and present, offering a profound insight into the heritage of Brussels and the stories of those who shaped it.

Image of ancient headstones at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague.
Ancient headstones at the Old

8. Old Jewish Cemetery | Prague, Czech Republic (est. 1439)

The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, with a history as dense and layered as its gravestones.

Established in the 15th century, around 1439, it served as the main burial ground for Prague’s Jewish community until 1787.

This historic cemetery is a testament to the endurance and traditions of the Jewish people in Prague, despite centuries of persecution and hardship.

Its tightly packed gravestones, some tilting and others almost buried, tell a story of a community that grew in a confined space, both physically and socially.

Among its narrow paths, you’ll find the graves of many prominent Jewish figures, including Rabbi Loew (the Maharal), a legendary scholar and the creator of the Golem of Prague myth, and Mordechai Maisel, a philanthropist and leader of the Jewish community.

The cemetery’s unique appearance, with layers of graves stacked upon one another due to space constraints, makes it a deeply moving site.

It’s not just a cemetery; it’s a historical record of Prague’s Jewish community, reflecting their resilience, faith, and contributions to the city’s rich tapestry of cultures.

Visiting the Old Jewish Cemetery is a journey into the heart of Prague’s history, where every stone has a story to tell.

9. Greyfriars Kirkyard | Edinburgh, Scotland (est. 1690s)

Greyfriars Kirkyard, nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland, is not just any cemetery; it’s one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opening its gates in the late 16th century, it has been a silent witness to Scotland’s tumultuous history, serving as the final resting place for some of the nation’s most notable figures.

The kirkyard is renowned for its haunting beauty and historic significance, with ancient gravestones and mausoleums set against the backdrop of the medieval city.

It’s a place where history is etched into the stone, telling tales of Edinburgh’s past.

Among its winding paths, visitors can find the graves of influential Scots such as James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, and George Buchanan, a tutor to James VI.

Perhaps the most heartwarming story belongs to Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal dog who famously guarded his master’s grave for 14 years.

But Greyfriars is not just known for its graves; it’s also steeped in lore, including tales of the Mackenzie Poltergeist, making it a magnet for those intrigued by the paranormal.

Beyond the ghost stories, Greyfriars Kirkyard stands as a monument to Scotland’s heritage, offering a serene space for reflection amidst the bustling city.

10. St. Peter’s Cemetery | Salzburg, Austria (est. ~700)

St. Peter’s Cemetery in Salzburg, Austria, is a historical gem and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It’s the oldest Christian cemetery still in use, with its origins dating back to about 700 AD. Nestled at the foot of the Festungsberg, with Hohensalzburg Fortress looming above, this cemetery offers a peaceful and picturesque final resting place.

Its meticulously cared-for graves, ornate wrought iron crosses, and chapels create an atmosphere of solemn beauty and tranquility.

Famous for its catacombs carved into the rock of Mönchsberg, St. Peter’s Cemetery is also the final resting place for many notable figures from Salzburg’s history, including Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, and architect Santino Solari, to name a few.

Walking through, visitors are transported back in time, surrounded by the rich history of Salzburg.

The cemetery is not just a place of rest; it’s a reflection of the city’s cultural and spiritual heritage, making it a must-visit for those exploring Salzburg’s historical sites.

11. The Cimitero Acattolico | Rome, Italy (est. early 1700s)

The Cimitero Acattolico, or the Non-Catholic Cemetery, in Rome, Italy, is truly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a site of profound beauty and history.

Established in the early 18th century, it became the final resting place for non-Catholics and foreigners in Rome.

Tucked away in a tranquil corner near the Pyramid of Cestius, its serene atmosphere and lush gardens offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

The cemetery is a testament to Rome’s cosmopolitan spirit, welcoming people of all faiths and nationalities.

Among its shady paths and ancient sculptures, the cemetery houses the graves of notable figures such as the poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, making it a pilgrimage site for literature lovers from around the globe.

The grave of Keats, with its poignant epitaph “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water,” is particularly moving.

The Cimitero Acattolico is not just a place of rest but a cultural treasure, reflecting the diverse tapestry of those who have contributed to Rome’s rich history.

Its unique charm and historical significance make it a must-visit for anyone exploring the Eternal City’s lesser-known gems.

12. Assistens Cemetery | Copenhagen, Denmark (est. 1760)

Assistens Cemetery, nestled in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark, is not just a cemetery but also one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in 1760, it originally served as a burial site for the poor but has since become the final resting place for Danish notables, including artists, writers, and scientists.

Its lush, park-like setting invites both contemplation and admiration, making it a popular spot not just for those paying respects but also for visitors seeking a tranquil escape in the city.

Among its leafy paths and ancient trees, you’ll find the graves of such luminaries as Hans Christian Andersen, the beloved fairy tale author, and Søren Kierkegaard, the renowned philosopher.

Assistens Cemetery’s significance goes beyond its famous residents; it’s a cultural treasure, reflecting the rich history and heritage of Denmark.

The cemetery is a testament to the Danish tradition of celebrating life and remembering the contributions of its people, offering a unique window into the soul of Copenhagen through the stories of those who rest there.

13. The Catacombs of Paris | Paris, France (est. 1790s)

The Catacombs of Paris, a labyrinth lying beneath the bustling streets of the French capital, rank among the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in the late 18th century to address the city’s overflowing cemeteries, the catacombs were created in the tunnels of former limestone quarries.

They now hold the remains of over six million people, making it a massive ossuary and a testament to Paris’s long and often grim history.

The catacombs stretch over 200 miles, though only a small portion is open to the public, offering a unique and somewhat eerie glimpse into the past.

Notable for their dark allure and the intricate arrangement of bones and skulls, the catacombs don’t house “famous” burials in the traditional sense. Instead, they serve as a collective resting place for Parisians of all walks of life from the late 18th to the mid-19th century.

As visitors walk through the narrow corridors lined with neatly stacked bones, they’re greeted with the inscription, “Stop! This is the empire of death!”

This haunting welcome sets the tone for a journey through time, reflecting on the city’s efforts to deal with public health and space issues.

The Catacombs of Paris offer a somber yet fascinating exploration of death, history, and the city’s deep underground, making it a must-visit for those drawn to the macabre and the historical.

14. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 | New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (est. 1789)

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana, opened in 1789, is truly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It’s known for its unique above-ground vaults, a necessity in the city’s swampy ground, creating a city of the dead that’s as haunting as it is historic.

This cemetery tells the story of New Orleans itself, through epidemics, floods, and fires, standing resilient through it all.

Among its winding paths, you’ll find the final resting places of some of the city’s most notable figures, including Marie Laveau, the famed Voodoo Queen, whose tomb attracts visitors from all over, seeking blessings or leaving offerings.

The cemetery’s rich history, coupled with tales of ghosts and the afterlife, make it a fascinating exploration site.

Whether you’re drawn by the allure of history, the architecture, or the stories of those buried there, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a poignant reminder of New Orleans’ vibrant culture and complex past.

15. Père Lachaise Cemetery | Paris, France (est. 1804)

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris isn’t just any graveyard; it’s one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Its story starts in 1804, when the city needed more burial space due to overcrowding in church cemeteries.

They chose a spot outside the city limits, which seemed odd at first. But soon, with a clever plan, they moved the remains of famous folks there.

This move made Père Lachaise the place to be, even in death!

As years passed, Père Lachaise became the final address for many notable names.

Icons like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Édith Piaf are buried here.

It’s not just about who’s resting there; the cemetery itself is breathtaking.

With beautiful sculptures, ancient trees, and winding paths, it’s a peaceful oasis in bustling Paris.

Whether you love history, art, or simply enjoy a quiet walk, Père Lachaise has something special to offer.

16. La Recoleta Cemetery | Buenos Aires, Argentina (est. 1822)

La Recoleta Cemetery, nestled in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is truly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It opened its gates in 1822, transforming from a convent garden into a final resting place for the elite of Argentine society.

This cemetery is a city within a city, featuring a maze of ornate mausoleums and statues that showcase the incredible craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the past.

Among its narrow pathways, you’ll find the graves of some of Argentina’s most celebrated figures, including Eva Perón, the country’s beloved First Lady, and writers like Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Each tomb tells a story, from heroic military leaders to influential politicians and artists, making Recoleta not just a cemetery, but a testament to Argentina’s rich history and culture.

Visitors from around the world come to wander through this tranquil space, marveling at its beauty and the stories of those who rest here.

17. Montparnasse Cemetery | Paris, France (est. 1824)

Montparnasse Cemetery, nestled in the heart of Paris, France, is not only a serene final resting place but also one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It opened its gates in 1824, quickly becoming a prominent burial site for Parisians and notable figures alike.

The cemetery is named after the Montparnasse area, an artistic and intellectual hub, and its grounds reflect this heritage, dotted with creative and poignant memorials.

This cemetery is the final resting place for many of the literary and artistic giants who have shaped our world.

Names like Charles Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, and Samuel Beckett can be found here, drawing visitors from around the globe. Montparnasse Cemetery stands out for its beautiful sculptures, tree-lined paths, and the stories of those who rest within its peaceful embrace.

It’s not just a place of remembrance but a source of inspiration, offering a quiet moment of reflection amidst the bustling city life of Paris.

18. Mount Auburn Cemetery | Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (est. 1831)

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is not just a cemetery; it’s a pioneering garden cemetery and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in 1831, it was the first large-scale designed landscape for the public in North America, blending nature and artistry in a way that was revolutionary at the time.

Its rolling hills, towering trees, and beautiful monuments offer a serene and reflective space for visitors and those at rest alike.

Among its many notable residents are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Baker Eddy, and Isabella Stewart Gardner, whose legacies live on beyond their time.

Mount Auburn’s significance extends beyond its burials; it’s a National Historic Landmark recognized for its horticulture, architecture, and role in American cemetery design.

This beautiful space invites exploration and contemplation, making it a tranquil oasis in the midst of urban life.

Whether you’re there to pay respects, enjoy nature, or soak in some history, Mount Auburn Cemetery provides a unique and peaceful experience.

19. Kensal Green Cemetery | London England (est. 1833)

Kensal Green Cemetery, located in London, England, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a key part of the city’s rich history.

Opened in 1833, it was the first of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries established around London to alleviate overcrowding in parish burial grounds.

Spanning over 72 acres, Kensal Green is not just a place for the dead but a stunning example of 19th-century cemetery design, combining lush landscapes with architectural elegance.

Its Gothic revival chapels, winding paths, and grand mausoleums offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.

This cemetery is the final resting place for a wide array of British history’s most notable figures, including engineers, novelists, and royalty.

Among them are Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a pioneering engineer, and William Makepeace Thackeray, a celebrated novelist.

Kensal Green’s importance goes beyond its beautiful grounds and famous interments; it’s a living museum of London’s social, cultural, and architectural heritage.

It continues to draw visitors not only for its historical significance but also for its tranquil, green spaces, where history and nature intertwine.

20. Glasnevin Cemetery | Dublin, Ireland (est. 1832)

Glasnevin Cemetery, nestled in Dublin, Ireland, is not just any resting place; it’s one of the world’s most famous cemeteries.

Opened in 1832, it was established by Daniel O’Connell, a monumental figure in Irish history, to provide a dignified place for all people, regardless of their religion, to be buried.

This was a groundbreaking concept at the time, reflecting the cemetery’s ethos of equality and inclusivity.

Spanning over 124 acres, Glasnevin is a treasure trove of Irish history, with over 1.5 million people buried there, including many of Ireland’s historical figures and national heroes.

Among its winding paths and historic graves, visitors can find the final resting places of prominent individuals like Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, and Countess Markievicz, making it a pilgrimage site for those looking to connect with Ireland’s past.

The cemetery also features a museum, which offers guided tours, telling the stories of the people who shaped Ireland’s history and the struggles they faced.

Glasnevin Cemetery stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the Irish people, offering a profound reflection on the nation’s complex and tumultuous history.

Its rich heritage and beautifully maintained grounds make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the stories that have woven the fabric of Ireland.

21. West Norwood Cemetery | London, England (est. 1837)

West Norwood Cemetery, located in London, England, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a significant part of London’s rich historical tapestry.

Opened in 1837, it’s part of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries established in the 19th century to alleviate overcrowding in existing parish burial grounds.

West Norwood is renowned for its beautiful Gothic revival architecture, including impressive mausoleums and monuments that reflect the Victorian era’s fascination with death and the afterlife.

Its 40 acres are a sanctuary of tranquility and beauty, home to diverse flora and fauna, making it not just a place for the dead but a haven for the living.

The cemetery is the final resting place for many notable figures, including Sir Henry Doulton, the pottery manufacturer, and Decimus Burton, the renowned architect.

West Norwood Cemetery stands out for its significant collection of listed sepulchres, deemed of historical and architectural importance.

Additionally, it features a Greek Orthodox necropolis with elaborate tombs that add to the cemetery’s cultural diversity.

Over the years, West Norwood Cemetery has become a place of pilgrimage for history enthusiasts and those looking to connect with the past.

It’s a testament to London’s history, offering a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle while preserving the stories of those who helped shape the world.

22. Green-Wood Cemetery | Brooklyn, New York, USA (est. 1838)

Green-Wood Cemetery, nestled in Brooklyn, New York, is not just any cemetery.

Since opening in 1838, it has become one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Initially designed as a rural cemetery, Green-Wood quickly became a prestigious address for the deceased, boasting rolling hills, picturesque landscapes, and stunning views of Manhattan.

Its beauty and tranquility made it a popular spot, not only for burials but also for picnics and strolls, long before Central Park was even a concept.

This sprawling 478-acre oasis is the final resting place for over 600,000 souls, including some pretty famous names.

Think of composer Leonard Bernstein, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and politician Boss Tweed.

These notable burials add a rich layer of history and intrigue to the serene walks one can take among its paths.

Beyond its famous residents, Green-Wood is celebrated for its beautiful Gothic Revival architecture, including the iconic entrance gate and the serene Chapel.

It’s a place where art, history, and nature intertwine, offering a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle while surrounding visitors with the stories of those who came before.

23. Highgate Cemetery | London, England (est. 1839)

Highgate Cemetery in London, opened in 1839, is easily one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

This Victorian-era burial ground was part of a plan to provide seven large, modern cemeteries, known as the “Magnificent Seven,” around the outskirts of London.

Highgate quickly became the resting place of choice for London’s elite, known for its stunning Gothic architecture and overgrown, woodland pathways that give it a mystical, almost storybook atmosphere.

Among its famous residents are Karl Marx, whose monument attracts visitors from around the globe, and Douglas Adams, the beloved author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

But it’s not just the famous names that draw people in.

Highgate Cemetery is a place of incredible beauty and tranquility, where history comes to life through the stories of the more than 170,000 people buried there.

Its East and West divisions offer a glimpse into the past, with angelic statues, ancient mausoleums, and winding paths that invite exploration and reflection.

24. Brookwood Cemetery | London, England, United Kingdom (est. 1854)

Brookwood Cemetery, also known as the London Necropolis, is one of the most expansive and most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opening its gates in 1854, it was established to address the overcrowding of London’s inner-city cemeteries and became the final resting place for people from all walks of life.

With its vast grounds located in Surrey, just outside London, Brookwood was not only the largest cemetery in the United Kingdom at its inception but also introduced a unique concept: it was accessible by its own railway line, the London Necropolis Railway, which transported the deceased and mourners from the city to the cemetery.

Among the many notable figures buried in Brookwood are John Singer Sargent, a leading portrait painter, and Margaret MacDonald, a prominent figure in the British women’s suffrage movement.

The cemetery is also home to dedicated military sections, including the Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial, where American military personnel and civilians are buried.

Its diverse monuments, ranging from elaborate Victorian mausoleums to simple headstones, reflect the wide array of people who have made Brookwood their final resting place.

Today, Brookwood Cemetery stands as a serene and beautiful site, offering a poignant glimpse into the history and heritage of London and beyond, making it a significant cultural and historical landmark.

25. Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery | Quebec, Canada (est. 1854)

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Quebec, Canada, is truly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, and it’s the largest in Canada.

Opened in 1854, it spans over 343 acres on the slopes of Mount Royal, making it not only a significant historical site but also a tranquil and picturesque space amidst the bustling city of Montreal.

The cemetery is a final resting place for more than a million souls, including a wide array of Quebec’s religious, political, and cultural figures, which reflects the rich tapestry of the province’s history and heritage.

Among its many notable burials are the graves of former prime ministers, hockey legends, and influential artists, including Jean Drapeau, the mayor who brought the world to Montreal with Expo 67, and Maurice “Rocket” Richard, a Canadian ice hockey legend.

The cemetery is renowned for its beautiful monuments, diverse mausoleums, and the sheer variety of its tombstones, which range from simple, understated markers to grand and ornate sculptures.

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges is more than just a cemetery; it’s a historical archive, a work of art, and a serene park all rolled into one, offering a unique window into the soul of Quebec and its people.

26. Cemitério da Consolação | São Paulo, Brazil (est. 1858)

Cemitério da Consolação in São Paulo, Brazil, stands out as one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, not just for its size but for its cultural and historical significance.

Opened in 1858, it was São Paulo’s first municipal cemetery, designed to accommodate the city’s growing population.

Over the years, it has become the final resting place for many of Brazil’s most notable figures, including politicians, artists, and entrepreneurs.

The cemetery is a reflection of São Paulo’s rich history and diversity, showcasing a wide array of architectural styles in its mausoleums and monuments, from neoclassical to modernist.

Among the winding paths and impressive tombs, visitors can find the graves of influential personalities such as Monteiro Lobato, a pioneering Brazilian writer and publisher, and Tarsila do Amaral, a key figure in the Brazilian modernist movement.

Cemitério da Consolação is more than a burial ground; it’s a true open-air museum, offering a unique glimpse into the social and cultural evolution of São Paulo.

The cemetery’s art, architecture, and the stories of those interred there make it a fascinating destination for anyone interested in exploring the history and heritage of Brazil’s largest city.

27. Cementerio de San Juan | San Juan, Puerto Rico (est. 1863)

Cementerio de San Juan, located in the historic capital of Puerto Rico, is not only one of the most famous cemeteries in the world but also one of the most picturesque, with its stunning ocean views from the city’s fortress walls.

Established in 1863, it is a testament to Puerto Rico’s rich history and cultural heritage, nestled beside the El Morro fort in Old San Juan.

This cemetery is known for its beautiful marble statues, elaborate tombs, and its unique location, offering a serene final resting place against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

It houses the graves of many of Puerto Rico’s most notable figures, including political leaders, poets, and artists, making it a place of honor and remembrance.

Among those buried here are José Ferrer, the first Puerto Rican actor, director, and producer to win an Academy Award, and Pedro Albizu Campos, a prominent leader in the struggle for Puerto Rican independence.

The cemetery’s layout and design reflect the social and historical changes of its time, with ornate mausoleums and captivating sculptures that tell stories of the island’s past.

Cementerio de San Juan stands as a symbol of Puerto Rican pride and resilience, inviting visitors to explore its pathways, appreciate its art, and reflect on the lives of those who have shaped the island’s history.

Its beauty and historical significance make it a must-visit for anyone wanting to connect with Puerto Rico’s heritage and the souls that rest within its peaceful embrace.

28. Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, Virginia, USA (1864)

Arlington National Cemetery, nestled in Virginia, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It opened in 1864, during the American Civil War, for a very practical reason.

There were too many soldiers dying, and nearby burial grounds were filling up fast.

So, they started burying soldiers on the grounds of Arlington House, which was once the home of Robert E. Lee, a key figure in the Civil War.

Over the years, Arlington has become the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans, and their families.

It’s not just a cemetery; it’s a symbol of honor and sacrifice.

Famous burials include President John F. Kennedy, with his eternal flame, and the Unknown Soldier, guarded 24/7.

The cemetery is a place of reflection and respect, drawing visitors from all over to pay their respects and learn about American history.

29. Cimitero Monumentale | Milan, Italy (est. 1866)

The Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, Italy, is undoubtedly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, celebrated for its extraordinary collection of monumental sculptures and mausoleums.

Opened in 1866, this vast cemetery serves as the final resting place for the elite of Milanese society, including artists, entrepreneurs, and notable figures who have contributed significantly to the cultural and economic fabric of the city.

The Monumentale is more than just a burial ground; it’s an open-air museum that showcases the incredible artistry and architectural innovation of Italy, with ornate tombs that range from classical to contemporary designs.

Among its many prestigious residents are the celebrated playwright and Nobel laureate Luigi Pirandello, the renowned composer Giuseppe Verdi, and the founding father of Futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

Each tomb and monument tells a story, reflecting the life and legacy of those buried within through the language of sculpture and architecture.

The cemetery’s meticulously landscaped grounds, combined with its breathtaking artistic treasures, make it a place of reflection and admiration, inviting visitors to wander through its paths and explore the rich history of Milan and its citizens.

The Cimitero Monumentale stands as a testament to the beauty and depth of human expression, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in the intersection of art, history, and the commemoration of lives well-lived.

30. Zentralfriedhof | Vienna, Austria (est. 1874)

Zentralfriedhof, located in Vienna, Austria, is not just any cemetery; it’s one of the largest and most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in 1874, it was designed to accommodate the growing population and provide a dignified resting place for people of all religions.

Spanning over 2.4 square kilometers, it’s a city of the dead, with ornate tombs, majestic mausoleums, and endless rows of graves that tell stories of Vienna’s past.

This sprawling necropolis is the final resting place for over 330,000 graves and a who’s who of Austrian and European history, including composers like Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Johann Strauss II.

What sets Zentralfriedhof apart is its inclusivity, with dedicated sections for different religious groups, reflecting Vienna’s diverse history.

The cemetery’s serene beauty, historical importance, and the sheer scale of its grounds make it a unique place to explore, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and a poignant reminder of the rich cultural tapestry that is Vienna.

31. Panteón de Dolores | Mexico City, Mexico (est. 1875)

The Panteón de Dolores, nestled in the heart of Mexico City, is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and the largest in Mexico.

Opened in 1875, it spans over 590 acres within the Chapultepec Forest, making it a city within a city, dedicated to the memory of those who have passed.

The cemetery is a reflection of Mexico’s rich history and cultural diversity, housing the remains of politicians, artists, and heroes who have shaped the nation’s destiny.

Its serene avenues and numerous mausoleums are adorned with sculptures and monuments, creating a peaceful and reflective atmosphere for visitors.

Among its most notable residents are Diego Rivera, the renowned muralist, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, another pivotal figure in Mexican art.

The Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres, a special section within the cemetery, honors these and other luminaries, including revolutionary leaders and reformers, marking their contributions to Mexican society and culture.

The Panteón de Dolores is not just a final resting place; it’s a testament to the lives and legacies of those who have left an indelible mark on Mexico’s history.

As a site of national heritage, it offers a unique journey through the stories and achievements of Mexico’s most influential figures, making it a poignant destination for anyone exploring the country’s rich tapestry of life and death.

32. Waverley Cemetery | Sydney, Australia (est. 1877)

Waverley Cemetery in Sydney, Australia, is not just a burial ground; it’s a landmark that overlooks the breathtaking Bronte Beach.

Opened in 1877, this cemetery quickly became known as one of the most beautiful and most famous cemeteries in the world.

Its stunning location, combined with Victorian and Edwardian monuments, creates a serene atmosphere that’s as much about celebrating life as it is about mourning death.

Among its sprawling grounds, Waverley Cemetery is the final resting place for many notable Australians, including poet Henry Lawson, explorer Edmund Barton, and aviator Lawrence Hargrave.

The cemetery is more than just a collection of graves; it’s a slice of Australian history, capturing the stories and spirits of those who helped shape the nation.

Its picturesque setting has made it a popular spot not only for those paying their respects but also for visitors looking to experience the tranquil beauty and historical significance of this unique site.

33. Ohlsdorf Cemetery | Hamburg, Germany (est. 1877)

Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg, Germany, isn’t just a final resting place; it’s one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and a beautiful park all in one.

Opened in 1877, it stretches over 966 acres, making it the largest rural cemetery in the world and the fourth-largest cemetery globally.

With its lush landscapes, meandering waterways, and artistic monuments, Ohlsdorf is as much a destination for the living as it is for those commemorated there.

It serves as a peaceful oasis in the bustling city of Hamburg, inviting visitors to reflect, remember, and explore its serene paths.

Notable for its architectural beauty and historical significance, Ohlsdorf Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1.5 million people, including soldiers from various nations and conflicts, which highlights its role as a piece of global history.

Among its famous burials are Heinrich Hertz, the physicist after whom the unit of frequency is named, and Gustav Hertz, Nobel laureate in Physics.

The cemetery also features memorials dedicated to the victims of war and persecution, adding a profound depth to its cultural significance.

Ohlsdorf’s unique combination of natural beauty, historical depth, and artistry makes it a must-visit for anyone interested in the stories that shape our world.

34. Montjuïc Cemetery | Barcelona, Spain (est. 1883)

Montjuïc Cemetery, perched on the scenic slopes of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, Spain, is not just any burial ground; it’s among the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in 1883, this cemetery is renowned for its stunning architectural beauty and the panoramic views it offers of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

Its design reflects a unique blend of art and nature, with winding paths, lush gardens, and impressive sculptures and mausoleums created by some of the most prominent Catalan artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

This cemetery is the final resting place for many of Catalonia’s most illustrious figures, including artists, politicians, and cultural icons, which makes it a place rich in history and heritage.

Notable burials include Joan Miró, a world-renowned surrealist painter, and Francesc Macià, the former President of Catalonia.

Montjuïc Cemetery isn’t just about who’s buried there; it’s a reflection of Barcelona’s cultural evolution and artistic legacy.

With its captivating beauty and historical significance, the cemetery offers a profound insight into the lives of those who have shaped the region’s history, making it a must-visit for those looking to explore the depth of Barcelona’s past.

35. Cementerio de la Chacarita | Buenos Aires, Argentina (est. 1887)

Cementerio de la Chacarita in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is not just a cemetery; it’s a sprawling city of the dead and undoubtedly one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

It opened its gates in 1887, created to accommodate the victims of a yellow fever epidemic that overwhelmed the city’s existing cemeteries.

Today, Chacarita is the largest cemetery in Argentina, covering over 95 hectares, and it serves as a final resting place for many of the country’s most notable figures.

Among the winding paths and impressive mausoleums, visitors can find the graves of famous individuals such as Carlos Gardel, the iconic tango singer, and Alfonsina Storni, the celebrated poet.

The cemetery is not just about who’s buried there; it’s a reflection of Argentina’s rich cultural history, showcasing stunning examples of funerary art and architecture.

Chacarita Cemetery offers a peaceful yet poignant exploration of the past, inviting visitors to wander its grounds and discover the stories of those who have shaped Argentina’s identity.

36. Novodevichy Cemetery | Moscow, Russia (est. 1898)

The Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia, stands out as one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, known for its historical significance and the many prominent figures buried there.

Opened in 1898, this cemetery is part of the Novodevichy Convent complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It has become the final resting place for Russia’s most distinguished artists, writers, politicians, and scientists, reflecting the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

The cemetery is renowned for its beautiful sculptures, ornate tombs, and the peaceful atmosphere that pervades its well-kept grounds.

Among the notable individuals laid to rest at Novodevichy are Anton Chekhov, one of Russia’s greatest playwrights and short story writers, and former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, a symbol of the country’s complex political history.

The cemetery also houses the graves of Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, and Sergei Eisenstein, a pioneering film director and film theorist.

Each tombstone and monument tells a story, not just of the individual it commemorates, but of the era they lived in and the legacy they left behind.

Visiting the Novodevichy Cemetery offers a unique glimpse into the soul of Russia, making it a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the depths of the nation’s history and culture.

37. Hollywood Forever Cemetery | Los Angeles, California, USA (est. 1899)

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, California, is more than just a cemetery; it’s a legendary resting place for Hollywood’s elite and one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Opened in 1899, it spans across 100 acres, offering a serene and picturesque final resting spot amidst the hustle and bustle of Hollywood.

Over the years, it has become a cultural landmark, reflecting the glamour and history of the entertainment industry.

This iconic cemetery is the final resting place for stars like Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and Cecil B. DeMille, among others.

Hollywood Forever isn’t just about who’s buried there; it’s a living part of the community, hosting movie screenings, concerts, and cultural events that draw visitors from around the globe.

Its lush grounds and beautiful mausoleums tell stories of the past, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in the golden age of Hollywood and the stars that made it shine.

Whether you’re a film buff, a history lover, or just in search of a peaceful spot, Hollywood Forever offers a unique glimpse into the world of cinema and the people who shaped it.

38. Merry Cemetery | Săpânţa, Romania (est. 1930s)

The Merry Cemetery, located in the village of Săpânța, Romania, stands out as one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, but for reasons different from others on this list.

Opened in the late 1930s, this unique burial site is renowned for its colorful tombstones with naïve art-style paintings and whimsical epitaphs that celebrate the lives of the deceased with humor and warmth.

Instead of the usual solemn and somber atmosphere, the Merry Cemetery embraces a joyful approach to remembering those who have passed, reflecting a distinctive perspective on life and death.

Local woodcarver Stan Ioan Pătraș initiated this unique tradition by carving the first tombstone, setting a precedent for commemorating life’s stories with a blend of honesty, humor, and art.

Today, the cemetery contains over 800 such tombstones, each telling a personal story, often with a light-hearted anecdote or a poem that captures the essence of the individual’s life.

This approach has turned the Merry Cemetery into a cultural landmark, attracting visitors from around the globe who are intrigued by its joyful celebration of life, making it a truly one-of-a-kind destination among the world’s most famous cemeteries.

39. Skogskyrkogården | Stockholm, Sweden (est. 1917)

Skogskyrkogården, or The Woodland Cemetery, in Stockholm, Sweden, stands out as one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, renowned for its harmonious blend of architecture and nature.

Opened in 1917, this UNESCO World Heritage site was designed by the architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, reflecting the beauty and tranquility of Nordic landscapes.

Its design philosophy emphasizes the natural beauty of its woodland setting, making it a place of profound peace and contemplation.

The cemetery is a testament to innovative design, seamlessly integrating land and architecture to create a space that elevates the spirit.

Among its gently rolling hills and tall pine trees, Skogskyrkogården is the final resting place of notable Swedes, including Greta Garbo, the internationally acclaimed film actress.

The cemetery is more than just a burial site; it’s a significant cultural and architectural landmark, attracting visitors from around the globe who come to admire its beauty and serenity.

Skogskyrkogården’s thoughtful design and tranquil setting offer a unique space for remembrance, reflection, and connection with nature, embodying a deeply Scandinavian approach to life, death, and the landscape.

Wrap-up: Most Famous Cemeteries in the World

As our journey through the most famous cemeteries in the world comes to a close, we’re reminded of the rich tapestry of stories, cultures, and histories that these sacred grounds preserve.

From the haunting beauty of Paris’s Père Lachaise to the tranquil serenity of Buenos Aires’s La Recoleta, each cemetery offers a unique window into the human soul.

These sites stand as monuments to our shared history, inviting us to reflect, remember, and honor the lives of those who came before us.

Thank you for joining us on this profound exploration of life, legacy, and the eternal bond that connects us all.

Iconic statue from the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

FAQs: Most Famous Cemeteries in the World

1. Which cemetery globally attracts the highest number of visitors each year?]

The Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, holds the title for the cemetery that attracts the most visitors globally each year.


With millions of people coming to pay their respects, it’s renowned for its stunning landscapes and the graves of famous individuals such as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Édith Piaf, making it a top destination for both historical and cultural tourism.




2. What is the oldest cemetery worldwide still in use?

The oldest cemetery in the world still in use today is the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel.


With a history dating back over 3,000 years, it has been an active burial site since biblical times.


The cemetery holds significant historical, cultural, and religious importance, serving as the final resting place for numerous figures from Jewish history, making it a profound testament to the enduring traditions and resilience of the Jewish people.




3. Which cemetery is regarded as the most beautiful globally?

The answer to which cemetery is regarded as the most beautiful globally can vary based on individual opinions and cultural perspectives.


However, one frequently mentioned for its breathtaking beauty is Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, USA.


Famous for its scenic landscape, adorned with Spanish moss-draped oaks, picturesque statues, and historic graves, it embodies a serene and poetic atmosphere.


Featured in literature and movies, such as “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” Bonaventure’s ethereal charm captivates visitors from around the world, making it a contender for the title of the world’s most beautiful cemetery.




References: Most Famous Cemeteries in the World

“10 of the World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries to Visit.” History Hit, www.historyhit.com/guides/the-worlds-most-beautiful-cemeteries-to-visit/. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Jacobson, Molly McBride. “The 10 Iconic Cemeteries That Made Death Beautiful.” Atlas Obscura, 6 Oct. 2016, www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-10-historic-cemeteries-that-made-death-beautiful.

Magazine, Smithsonian. “World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries.” Smithsonian Magazine, www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/worlds-most-beautiful-cemeteries-180953102/.

Minford, Teddy. “The World’s Most Famous Cemeteries.” Fodors Travel Guide, 30 Oct. 2017, www.fodors.com/news/photos/the-worlds-most-famous-cemeteries.

“Top 10 Cemeteries to Visit.” Travel, 7 Oct. 2011, www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/cemeteries.

“Bonaventure Historical Society – Bonaventure Cemetery – Cemeteries, Savannah, GA.” Bonaventure Historical Society, www.bonaventurehistorical.org/.