By Ken Worpole
Final Landscapes is an exploration of the cult and social gathering of dying, loss and reminiscence. It lines the background and layout of burial locations all through Europe and america, starting from the picturesque culture of the village churchyard to tightly packed 'cities of the dead', reminiscent of the Jewish Cemetery in Prague and Père Lachaise in Paris. different landscapes that function during this e-book contain the struggle cemeteries of northern France, Viking burial islands in vital Sweden, Etruscan tombs and early Christian catacombs in Italy, the 17th-century Portuguese–Jewish cemetery 'Beth Haim' at Ouderkerk within the Netherlands, wooded area Lawns in California, Derek Jarman’s backyard in Kent and the Stockholm wooded area Cemetery.
It is a indisputable fact that structure 'began with the tomb', but, as Ken Worpole exhibits us in final Landscapes, many ancient cemeteries were demolished or deserted in recent years (notably the case with Jewish cemeteries in japanese Europe), and there was an expanding lack of inscription and memorialization within the glossy city cemetery. Too usually cemeteries this day are either poorly designed and bodily and culturally marginalized. Worse, cremation denies a whole architectural reaction to the secret and solemnity of death.
The writer explores how modes of disposal – burial, cremation, inhumation in mausoleums and wall tombs – range throughout Europe and North the USA, in keeping with spiritual and different cultural impacts. And final Landscapes increases profound questions as to how, in an age of mass cremation, architects and panorama designers may perhaps create significant buildings and settings within the absence of a physique, due to the fact for many of heritage the human physique itself has supplied the elemental structural scale. This evocative e-book additionally contemplates other kinds of memorialization inside of glossy societies, from sculptures to parks, such a lot significantly the intense Duisberg Park, set in a former colossal steelworks in Germany’s Ruhr Valley.
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Extra resources for Last Landscapes: The Architecture of the Cemetery in the West
No cemetery: no city. In London, most bodies remained where they were, and the city was developed around or over them. 29 The remains of the majority of those buried are now beyond mem-ory, identification or reach. Wherever you walk in the City of London, the so-called ‘square mile’, you are almost certainly walking over the dead. Even so, from time to time in central London towards the end of the nineteenth century, the remains of tens of thousands of people buried in churchyards were excavated and re-interred in mass graves in the newly created suburban cemeteries.
Until quite recently it was not uncommon to come across a headstone in an English churchyard or cemetery marking a double grave, in which only one of the couple had died, yet both names were engraved on the headstone, with the year of death of the surviving partner left blank, waiting to be completed. The idea that his grave was ready and his headstone or monument already engraved would surely have driven the Duke of Milan to a frenzy. That certainty of knowledge about the exact place of one’s final corner of earthly geography is today much weaker.
The tree, the cross and the upright human figure are variations on the same elemental pattern in the visual field. Many of Friedrich’s paintings show crosses in deserted or mountainous landscapes – symbols of hope and resurrection in what is often portrayed as solitary and unforgiving terrain. The painting that first brought Friedrich to widespread attention was The Cross in the Mountains (1807), an overtly religious work showing the crucified Christ on the cross looking down towards a setting sun, but surrounded by upright fir trees, eternally green.