When you think of fun outings, a cemetery probably doesn’t come to mind. However, old cemeteries hold a lot of history, art and culture.
Cemetery tourism, also known as necrotourism is a type of tourism which involves visiting cemeteries for the sake of their historic, artistic, architectonic or landscape heritage.
You may have heard of organized tours in places such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and musuem in Poland or Hiroshima, Japan. Necrotourism has become even more popular in recent years.
Cemeteries are more than a place for reflection today. People make visits even when they have no loved one there to remember.
Cemetery tourism is a growing market, and cemeteries are no longer reserved for those in mourning. Cemeteries have been used as locations for popular movies, thus popularizing them in the process.
Why People Visit Cemeteries
People visit graves for a number of reasons. Being there for the sake of a deceased loved one is the most traditional reason for doing so.
Field research is a reason why students visit the graves of strangers. Others may go there because they study genealogy or because of their love for photography.
People may also simply go there to have a quiet time; for inspiration to write, to contemplate the meaning of life or compare the differences between epitaphs.
What To Expect At a Cemetery
You will learn more about the people who lived before us. You have an opportunity to see the graves of famous people in history.
Some cemeteries charge fees, while some welcome visitors at no charge. They may offer guided tours that highlight the statues, monuments and architectural structures.
Guidelines For Tourists
Before visiting a cemetery, you should search their website for visiting hours, rules and regulations.
You may be charged a nominal fee. Understand that the proceeds from it goes back to their preservation efforts.
Once you arrive, ask for a map, brochure, audio tour or a guided tour to the grave and area you intend to see.
Most importantly, be respectful.