Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | June 29, 2010


We can see straight into the St. Martin cemetery from the balcony of the house, and it’s been a real education. Actually, it’s been beautiful.

I had a hard time getting any photos of it from the inside because someone is nearly always there, and often more than one person. All day long people walk in, spend a few minutes tending a plot, and leave. There are big sinks and supplies right there in the cemetery to make this easy. At night we look out and see candles burning on many of the graves–I can see about twenty of them right now–and there’s a small section at the grocery store for these candles. Going to visit the family plot appears to be a normal part of life. The different graves are well kept–no weeds or dead flowers anywhere–and many of them are unique, with little statues, different combinations of flowers, and pictures.The cemetery doesn’t seem to be a sad place. People of all ages go in and out all the time, often children come with parents or grandparents. Sometimes they see friends and spend time chatting.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to live in the same village that my family had lived in for generations. I think I’ve only seen my grandparents’ graves a couple of times in my whole life. It seems like being able to visit like this would be a natural way to pass along memories to the next generation. I think it must be a very comforting thing for families to be able to do this.

Ironically, though, there are no very old graves. We wondered about this in Switzerland and a friend told us that there was simply not enough room for everyone to stay buried. You get about seventy five years, and then your bones are dug up and put in a box inside the church. It’s the royal treatment though, for those seventy five years…….




  1. The temporary grave thing is something they do in Poland, too, which seriously hampers genealogical research. Just so odd and I certainly wouldn’t want the job of exhuming bodies and dumping their bones in another box.

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