Necrotourism sensibilizes the traveller of the patrimonial and natural worth of a country or a city, the social and cultural function of the commemorative place of those who preceded us, is giving way to a more ludic use.
It is a thing of the past when cemeteries were only places to bury the dead.
The previously clearly defined limits of his funeral functions have been exceeded.
Today necropolis are shown as part of the cultural, artistic and natural heritage of a city.
Walking through the tombs of famous people, pantheons, sculptures, funerary monuments of exquisite execution, can be an original way to remember the history of our country and others.
The change of perspective is demonstrated by the existence of the European Association of Singular Cemeteries which was born to support necro tourism in Europe.
Necro tourism in Spain
In Monturque, Cordoba ,Spain give good account of it, the days that are carried out in the week of the commemoration of the festivities of all the saints and faithful deceased. in addition to traveling the cemetery of San Rafael that is part of the European Route of Cemeteries, a few days of gastronomical festivities are organized realizing competition of gachas (traditional food similar to porridges ) and lanterns of melon, typical meals of that time of the year.
In Spain we have begun to offer visits of this type, as you can read on this page of cemeteries in Spain.
Spain has 22 unique cemeteries ( as part of the European Cemeteries Route ) in Madrid, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Asturias, Cantabria, Valencia, Galicia and Andalusia.
Comunidad de Madrid :The Almudena cemetery is the largest in Europe with five million tombs.It has become a tourist attraction by day and night.It has night visits and thematic walks. If you want information look at this page. https://visitascementerioalmudena.sfmadrid.es/ Only in spanish.
Asturias: The municipal cemetery of La Carriona in Avilés is the most unique in the area. Its origin goes back to the end of the 19th century and it is replete with sculptures of artistic relevance and loaded with allegories.
Cantabria: The Ciriego cemetery, in Santander, is built under the direction of great architects and marble workers of the region. It is a good example of the aesthetics of funerary art of the late nineteenth century.
País Vasco: The cemetery in Bilbao, which houses one of the main funerary art groups in Spain, is a faithful reflection of the golden age of art in the Basque region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In San Sebastian (Basque city) is the cemetery of Polloe, another jewel of funerary architecture.
It is the region with the most unique cemeteries.Nine of which are in this region. One of them is the municipality of Vilanova i la Geltrú , with numerous modernist style tombs. In the cemetery of Sant Sebastià , in Sitges, there are many large pantheons of “indianos” (Spaniards who went to America) and well-known funerary sculptors participated.One more modernist cemetery is the cemetery of Arenys de Mar.
All these necropolis were designed with the influence of the modernist movement in art and architecture.Catalonia had a special predilection for this movement that coincided with an era of abundance and industrialization.
Very special examples are also the new cemetery of Igualada and the cemetery of Los Capuchinos, in Mataró. The Igualada cemetery is different from the traditional one, it tries to integrate with the nature that surrounds it.
A translation of the “organic architecture” that transforms it into a park in which the tombs are integrated into the environment.
The Mataró cemetery is located in an old Capuchin convent whose first burials date back to 1817 and in which its majestic pantheons stand out.
The cemetery of Vilafranca del Penedés, built in 1839 over a monastery of the Capuchin order has notable constructions as well.
In the city of Barcelona there are two singular cemeteries: the Poble Nou cemetery, the first cemetery in the city, and Montjuïc.
Finally, Girona also has the cemetery of Lloret de Mar. It is an example of the sensitivity of the sculptors and architects of the modernist funerary trend.
Valencian Community: The most important is the old cemetery of Elche , built at the beginning of the 19th century. Through its pantheons and buildings is discovered the coexistence of various styles such as neoclassical, neo-Mudejar, neo-Romanesque or neo-Gothic. Due to its subsequent extension, there are even examples of modernist or art deco architecture and sculptures.
Andalusia:Córdoba brings two necropolis to the necro- tourism route.One is the cemetery of Monturque , relevant because it houses Roman cisterns in its subsoil, a work of engineering that can be visited and that remained hidden for more than a thousand years.
The other case is in the same city of Cordoba and is the cemetery of Our Lady of Health.
The neoclassical façade and some eclectic pantheons stand out. In addition, some famous bullfighters such as Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez, “Manolete”, rest in it.
Finally, you can visit the municipal cemetery of Granada. It forms part of the Alhambra monument and is very close to the entrance to the Nasrid Palaces.
Galicia:With a couple of cemeteries the San Amaro Cemetery , in A Coruña, and the San Froilán Cemetery, in Lugo in represent Galicia on the route of Europe’s unique cemeteries.
In the case of the San Froilán Cemetery several funerary constructions were moved piece by piece from the old cemetery in Lugo ,to the new one, which gives it great artistic and historical value.
The need to experience this adventure, to feel this rare mixture of fear and wonder, is related to a growing fascination with the phenomenon of death.
Elements of structure and architecture, tombstones, chapels, monuments, road networks, as well as intentionally planted vegetation, are also part of the landscape of a cemetery.
The human voice in the form of words is present in the epitaphs and that is a separate subject.
The cemetery, as a mirror of the culture in which it was built, offers a wide range of considerations in terms of tangible and intangible heritage (the religiosity of each community, rites and customs), telling us how the issue of burial is resolved in different regions of the world.
Europe’s most famous cemeteries
The most singular cemetery
The merry cemetery of sapanta/ Sapâna