I saw this yesterday on BillionGraves – 5 Awesome Mausoleums from Around the World http://blog.billiongraves.com/awesome-mausoleums-from-around-the-world/ and thought it was a good choice for this week’s Tombstone Tuesdays post. There are numerous photos of the mausoleums in the link.
Awesome mausoleums from around the world vary in size and style, but they share the common purpose of showing respect for the departed.
Since the beginning of time, people have developed different ways to bury their deceased loved ones. Mausoleums were some of the earliest and remain one of the most popular methods.
What is a Mausoleum?
A mausoleum is a building constructed at a cemetery to house the remains of a deceased person or an entire family in their own burial chamber.
Mausoleums can be large and imposing, designed to impress the living. Others are small and more intimate with simple elements.
They were often created in the same architectural styles that were popular in the time period in which they were constructed. They may have symmetrical classic columns, curved Baroque lines, or ribbed vaults.
But mausoleums do tend to have some common elements on the interior. They usually have an open space in the center with tombs, crypts, or burial compartments in the walls. Caskets are usually placed in each individual space and are then sealed off with granite or marble.
Each person’s name is typically carved into the stone that seals the burial compartment or engraved on a metal plaque. When the mausoleum houses the remains of an entire family, the last name of the family is usually carved above the entrance to the building.
Awesome Mausoleums #1: King Mausolus, Turkey
The word “mausoleum” comes from the name King Mausolus, a king who lived from 377 to 353 BC. He ruled over Caria in Asia Minor near the Mediterranean Sea in what is now modern-day Turkey.
King Mausolus reigned with his wife Artemisia (who was also his sister) and they chose the city of Halicarnassus to become their new capital. The couple spent tremendous amounts of tax money to embellish the city with elaborate buildings.
So it follows logic, that when King Mausolus died, his grieving wife had an elaborate structure built to house his remains. In fact, Mausolus had planned it himself before he died.
Awesome Mausoleums #2: Emperor Hadrian, Rome, Italy
In 134 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned a large cylindrical mausoleum for his own family. The stone structure originally had a garden on the rooftop and bronze statues around the perimeter. Not only was it beautiful, but it was the tallest building in Rome.
After Hadrian’s death, other Roman emperors made this their final resting place as well.
When Visigoth looters sacked Rome in 410 AD, the mausoleum was vandalized. They toppled the statues and scattered urns filled with ashes.
Awesome Mausoleums #3: The Taj Mahal, India
One of the most famous mausoleums in the world is the beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra, India. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1648 as a burial site for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. He is also buried there.
The complex covers 42 acres (17 hectares) and, in addition to the mausoleum, it includes a mosque, a guest hours, and formal gardens.
Awesome Mausoleums #4: Egyptian Pyramids
Ancient Egypt’s pyramids are the most recognizable mausoleums in the world. They represent the man’s flight from the natural world toward the sun or afterlife.
The pyramids of Egypt have fascinated travelers and conquerors since ancient times. These awesome mausoleums continue to inspire tourists, mathematicians, and archeologists who visit to photograph, explore, measure, and analyze them.
Awesome Mausoleums #5: Père Lachaise
The Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France is the most visited cemetery in the world, with over 3.5 million visitors annually. Part of the attraction to this cemetery has to do with the large number of awesome mausoleums.
Mausoleums line the roads and walking paths at Père Lachaise. They are layered up and down the hillsides.
Previous Tombstone Tuesdays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/Tombstone-tuesday/