Each November, we have a tradition that sends us to visit our cemeteries to remember those who have passed. However, beyond their obvious function, many of these cemeteries stand out for their architectural and monumental value. In Europe, visiting these locations is increasingly known as “necrotourism” and Spain has many examples to consider. We’ve gathered seven Andalucian cemeteries you cannot miss:
1. The English Cemetery in Malaga
The English Cemetery in Malaga is located in the heart of the city and is Spain’s oldest, non-Catholic Christian cemetery, built in 1831. Since the late nineteenth century, it has been the seat of the Anglican Church of St. George and has been declared a cultural landmark. This cemetery was conceived as a botanical garden and exotic species can be found throughout, with benches overlooking the sea. If you decide to walk around this cemetery, you can find the graves of important figures of literature as Jorge Guillen, Gerard Brenan and his wife, the write Gamel Woolsey writer as well as sculptures that offer that image so characteristic monumental .
2. The Casabermeja Cemetery
This cemetery has been declared a historic monument. If you visit Casabermeja, you will realise that the cemetery is like a small town within the town. From the road, you can see the tombs scattered in a way that created the myth that “the dead were buried standing up.” The architecture is typical Andalucian and is popularly known as “the village of the dead”, complete with narrow streets and manicured facades .
3. The Granada Cemetery
The cemetery of Granada is one of the most beautiful in Spain, thanks to a prime location, located on the historic site of the Alhambra. In this cemetery you can find significant examples of architecture and romantic monument sculpture from eras long since past, from the hands of renowned artists. Mystery lovers will find common ground in this resting place where you can hear legends like the bride who died on her wedding day and walks through the streets of the cemetery or the “Lord of the Cemetery” miracle worker.
4. The Cemetery of Our Lady of Health (Cordoba)
The neoclassical aspect of this cemetery is the most attractive feature to visitors. The resting place was built during the French occupation in the early nineteenth century in the same enclosure as the hermitage of the same name. In the front, you can see two parts of adjacent columns and a Madonna and child with the Latin inscription saying “ill health”. The bullfighter “Manolete” is just one of the famous people buried here.
5. The Monturque Cemetery
Monturque Cemetery is included in the “Path of cemeteries of Europe” and all practicers of “necrotourism” must fine the time to visit. Its interest is such that it has even been featured in such prominent tourism fairs as FITUR in Madrid. The cemetery houses underground Roman cisterns, offering a glimpse of important engineering work that was hidden for over a thousand years .
6. The Villaluenga Cemetery (Cádiz)
The Villaluenga Cemetery is immersed in the ruins of an ancient bell tower, built with bricks and surrounded by limestone walls. In the Napoleonic era, the French destroyed this church and instead of rebuilding the temple, the locals used it to bury their dead. The image is very curious because the niches and limes scales are made from the walls of the ancient tower.
7. The Benadalid Cemetery (Málaga)
In the Serrania de Ronda, one will find a singular cemetery. This is the Benadalid Graveyard, located just outside the town in an old castle with cylindrical towers. The niches are arranged on the inside surrounding each tower, producing a very curious image. If you want to visit a quirky cemetery, duck into this Malaga location and while you’re there, enjoy the nature that surrounds it.
This may be another way to look at the cemeteries from a more cultural and interesting perspective. Many of them retain valuable sculptures and architecture, as well as mysterious legends. This is a new way of seeing cemeteries and enjoying them, but always with respect to the deceased. Now you know, if you find yourself travelling to one of these destinations, don’t forget to visit the cemetery.