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Highgate East Cemetery

06 March 2014

Located in the picturesque town of Highgate -- former home of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet) -- you'll find one of the most idyllic Victorian cemeteries, Highgate Cemetery

The West Cemetery - known for its architectural brilliance, mausoleums, and catacombs - can be visited by guided tour only whilst the East Cemetery - known for its illustrious internments of the 19th century and modern times such as Karl Marx and George Eliot.

Karl Marx is definitely the most popular draw for tourists to the East Cemetery. Guests will come with flowers and/or candles to place at the base of his monument. This might surprise some people who remember Karl Marx for his work in Germany but in 1849 Marx relocated to London as did the Communist League. As is fitting, Marx' monument bears the message "Workers of All Lands Unite", the final line from The Communist Manifesto.

The tombstone I was most interested in seeing when I visited in January was of Mary Anne Evans, best known to the public as George Eliot, one of the foremost women writers from the Victorian era. Although there is a memorial stone in the Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey, she was not interned there because of her denial of the Christian faith so she was buried in the secular section of Highgate Cemetery East nearby Karl Marx.
From among the many Christian memorials and graves in the East Cemetery,
the variety of crosses, inscriptions and statues are numerous. 
A few of my favourites are shown below.
One interesting story I learned today is that many American tourists see the following cross (photo below) and believe the symbol is a dollar sign. O Americans we are a funny lot. No, actually this is an intertwined IHS monogram which stands for Iesus Hominum Salvator meaning "Jesus, Saviour of Men".
Iesus Hominum Salvator
I hope you enjoyed the very small sampling of photos and histories I was able to share with you today about Highgate Cemetery East and will take some time to explore the cemetery for yourselves. The East Cemetery costs £4 per adult (children under 18 are free when visiting with a paying adult) and is open from 10am-5pm during weekdays (last admission at 4:30 pm) and 11am-5pm during weekends and public holidays (last admission at 4:30 pm). If you have any cemetery recommendations, please do share!

xx

2 comments:

  1. Wow, love this! I've never been to Highgate cemetery, I'd heard of it but I didn't really realise what the fuss was all about. I'm going to have to go next time I'm in London, I feel ashamed that I always lived so close but never went!

    If you're ever in Milan, check out Cimitero Monumentale, it's the Milanese version of Highgate but because they're Catholic here, the monuments and mausoleums are huuuuge! Plus there are a few famous Italians lurking in there :)

    Lucy xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life & Travel in Italy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Joy!
    Can't wait to go with you on a tour to the highgate west cemetry when you start working there!!!
    Your blog looks great by the way! Good job!
    Pascaline

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for sharing with me! Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated!
x Joy

 

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