Jul 12, 2013

Four Unusual Cemeteries

The largest man made reef in the world three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne, the Neptune Memorial Reef, is also an underwater mausoleum. The graveyard is 40 feet below the surface of the water, allowing divers swim among statues and sea life to visit deceased family members. Divers go down with ashes mixed with cement and place the mixture in a selected location. The cost for placement is $2,600 to $4,000, and there are 1,200 spots in the initial development.

In the lagoons of Venice Italy, San Michele island has been occupied only by the dead since the early 1800s. Two other structures on the island are the Church of San Michele, built in 1469, and the Cappella Emiliana, built in 1543. Because space is limited on the island, Venetians who are interred on San Michele have ten years of peace before their remains are exhumed and moved to an ossuary. Igor Stravinsky and Ezra pound are interred there.

The Hallstatt, Austria Ossuary, or Beinhaus (Bone House), is filled with about 700 painted skulls and 500 undecorated skulls. The ossuary dates back to the 17th century and is notable for the decorations painted on many of the skulls.

The Calico, California Ghost Town Cemetery is the town's original burial site with headstones dating back to 1882. Today, only those who have a long relationship with Calico are given the honor of being buried alongside the 19th-century miners, but space is limited.