Some Berlin cemetery photos

Posted on 23 July 2007 in:

The angel on the left: is it opening Christ’s tomb on Easter Sunday, rejoicing that there is no body inside? Or is she opening the tomb of the family members in this plot, signifying the coming of the resurrection, eternal life, etc.? I didn’t climb over the railing of this Gesamtkunstwerk located at a Protestant cemetery in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood to find out. For me the image alone was enough. This inquisitive angel is a metaphor for what I do in cemeteries. I look for hidden surprises; in my case, most of these are letters, of course.

Berlin is a large city, and it has many cemeteries. I have only visited two of them so far, and these two were not that far from each other. These two cemeteries are not that different from other German examples I’ve seen. I love all sorts of cemeteries, especially the older, more overgrown specimens, where one can explore alone, without stumbling upon anyone actually visiting the cemetery for its real purpose—remembering the dead, celebrating their lives and the stories of their families, and contemplating fate.

Friedrichshainer Friedhof 27.JPG

This is a wonderful g. Doesn’t it make you happy, too?

carved script 1 (Prenzl Berg).jpg

Here’s something I didn’t expect, a carved English-style copperplate script! Maybe from 1841? Below is a close-up of some of the letters.

carved script 2 (Prenzl Berg).jpg

Close-up of the English copperplate-style hand from above.

awesome unicase (Prenzl Berg).jpg

This is something else that I did not expect, a wickedly-awesome unicase inscription. Perhaps from the first few years of the twentieth century? There was no other information, or a date. That K looks a little sick, too. But I forgive it, because the whole still looks so nice; it clearly doesn’t distract, at least.


Friedrichshainer Friedhof 19.JPG

The borders of these cemeteries tend to be circled with family plots and mausoleums, all from the 19th and early 20th centuries. They tend be be decrepit, and no one must want to build or use them anymore. Below are three more random examples, without comment!

Friedrichshainer Friedhof 04.JPG

Friedrichshainer Friedhof 23.JPG

Friedrichshainer Friedhof 06.JPG

Link to a whole set: