Richard Wagner’s Grave, Bayreuth, Germany

Bayreuth. | Grab Rich. Wagners.
Publisher: Ottmar Zieher, Munich

Google Street View.

Wilhelm Richard Wagner); 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, “music dramas”). . . . After the festival, the Wagner family journeyed to Venice for the winter. Wagner died of a heart attack at the age of 69 on 13 February 1883 at Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, a 16th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal.[145] The legend that the attack was prompted by argument with Cosima over Wagner’s supposedly amorous interest in the singer Carrie Pringle, who had been a Flower-maiden in Parsifal at Bayreuth, is without credible evidence. After a funerary gondola bore Wagner’s remains over the Grand Canal, his body was taken to Germany where it was buried in the garden of the Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth.

Tomb of Salar and Sangar al-Gawli, Cairo

On the back:
LE CAIRE. — Mosquée Sanghar-el-Gaouli. –Mosque Sanghar-el-Gaouli.–LL
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View.

The complex of Amir Salar and Amir Sanjar al-Jawili was built in 1303-4 by Amir Sanjar al-Jawili, a powerful amir during the reign of al-Nasir Muhammad. It was intended to house, in addition to his madrasa, a mausoleum for himself and one for his longtime friend Amir Salar. The two contiguous burial chambers are each covered by a ribbed, pointed brick dome. As a token of love and respect, Sanjar distinguished the mausoleum of his companion with a larger dome and more decoration.

The adjoining religious foundation, which consists of a rectangular, single-iwan courtyard surrounded on the other sides by cells, most likely served as a khanqah whose curriculum included courses in theology and Shafi’i law. The large iwan is faced by a minute iwan across the courtyard. The vestibule behind the two mausolea is covered by possibly the earliest example of a stone dome in Cairo.

The Mausoleum-Khanqah of Salar and Sangar El-Gawli lies next to Qalat El-Kabsh. It was founded by the Mamluk Karasonkor El-Mansouri. It includes the tomb of the Emir Seif El-Deen Salar who played a great role at the beginning of the 14th Century that was a period turmoil. He was was imprisoned where died out of starvation in 1310. The second cenotaph that appear in the mausoleum belonga to Emir Alam El-Din Sangar El-Gawli who was the Governor of Gaza and Hama for along time and who died in 1344/745. The façade of this monument is regarded as a unique one in comparison to the other façades in Cairo, due to its several distinguishing features. There are also the adjoining domes with graceful Syrian style. The mosque consists of a nave and the Qibla aisle that gives access to a corridor. On the right side of this corridor, there are two mausoleums: The mausoleum of Emir Sayf Al-Din Salar, and mausoleum of Emir Alam Al-Din Sangar Al-Gawli. The Minaret, placed right the main entrance, consists of three stories. The first is squared in shape, with decorations on its four sides, and windows of various forms. The second storey is octagonal, while the third storey is cylindrical with eight openings.

Tomb of Caecilia Metella, Rome

ROMA – Via Appia – Regia Viarum
Sepolcro di Cecilia Metella


(There appears to be an artist at work in the foreground.)

Google Street VIew

The Tomb of Caecilia Metella is a mausoleum located just outside Rome at the three mile marker of the Via Appia. It was built during the 1st century BC to honor Caecilia Metella, who was the daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus, a consul in 69 BC, and the wife of the Marcus Licinius Crassus who served under Julius Caesar and was the son of the famous triumvir with the same name, Marcus Licinius Crassus.The mausoleum was probably built in 30–10 BCE by her son who also had the same name, Marcus Licinius Crassus. The Tomb of Caecilia is one of the most well known and well preserved monuments along the Via Appia and a popular tourist site. 

The tomb of Caecilia Metella, from Vedute di Roma (Roman Views), ca. 1762 (from the Met)

The original design of the Tomb of Caecilia Metella encompassed the square podium and cylindrical drum (or rotunda) that we still see today, along with a shallow conical dome and a ground-level entrance on the south side. Sometime between the 11th to 14th century, the conical dome was replaced by a crenellated brick wall and a castle was attached to the Tomb as well, resulting in what is more or less the current layout of the site.
Piranesi in Rome

Over time, concrete cracks and crumbles. Well, most concrete cracks and crumbles. Structures built in ancient Rome are still standing, exhibiting remarkable durability despite conditions that would devastate modern concrete. One of these structures is the large cylindrical tomb of first-century noblewoman Caecilia Metella. New research shows that the quality of the concrete of her tomb may exceed that of her male contemporaries’ monuments because of the volcanic aggregate the builders chose and the unusual chemical interactions with rain and groundwater with that aggregate over two millennia.
University of Utah: Roman noblewoman’s tomb reveals secrets of ancient concrete resilience

Mosque & Masoleum of Sidi Abderrahmane, Algiers

Master list for Algiers

Alger – La Mosquée de Sidi Abderhaman
Publisher: Compagnie Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques, Strasbourg

Google Street View.

Sidi Abderrahmane is a mosque and mausoleum named after the city’s patron saint. The main building was constructed in 1627, and the mosque where locals pray was added in 1696. The mosque also has a small graveyard, where some very notable people are buried, including Sidi Abderrahmane himself.

It was decided in 1020 H/1611 that the sepulchre of Sidi Abdarrahman al-Thaalibi, the patron saint of Al-Djazair, who died in AH 877/AD 1470, should be covered with a qubba (dome). Later on, in AH 1108/AD 1696, Dey al-Hadj Ahmad al-Atchi ordered the square mausoleum to be transformed into a prayer hall, notably through the introduction of a mihrab. Four pairs of columns that are semi-engaged in the walls enable the transition from a square layout to an octagonal one, to accommodate the dome that covers the hall. As well as the two marble columns that flank it on either side, the mihrab is decorated with faïence tiles. The qubba encloses a certain number of sepulchres, including those of Sidi Abdarrahman and Sidi Boudjemaa, and the function and living quarters and buildings could have been constructed with the revenues from the zawiya. Within the enclosure, a small cemetery holds the tombs of illustrious or notable persons such as Sidi Boudouma, Sidi Ouaddah or Dey ‘Umar.
Museum With No Frontiers: Discover Islamic Art

Rachel’s Tomb, Bethlehem

Tombeau de Rachel route Bethléhem. – Rachel’s tomb. – Sepulcro de Raquel, junto a Belén. – Sepolero di Rachele.

Google Maps.

Rachel’s Tomb is the site revered as the burial place of the matriarch Rachel. The tomb is held in esteem by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The site is also referred to as the Bilal bin Rabah mosque. The tomb, located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, is built in the style of a traditional maqam. The burial place of the matriarch Rachel as mentioned in the Jewish Tanakh, the Christian Old Testament and in Muslim literature[6] is contested between this site and several others to the north. Although this site is considered unlikely to be the actual site of the grave, it is by far the most recognized candidate. The earliest extra-biblical records describing this tomb as Rachel’s burial place date to the first decades of the 4th century CE. The structure in its current form dates from the Ottoman period, and is situated in a Christian and Muslim cemetery dating from at least the Mamluk period. When Sir Moses Montefiore renovated the site in 1841 and obtained the keys for the Jewish community, he also added an antechamber, including a mihrab for Muslim prayer, to ease Muslim fears.

Rachel’s Tomb is located in the city of Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem. For centuries, it lay on a deserted roadside, and Rachel’s descendents would come here to pour out their hearts to her—the mother who dwells in a lonely wayside grave in order to be there for her suffering children. . . . From the fifth century CE until the mid-1800s, Rachel’s tomb was marked by a tiny dome upheld by four beams. In 1841, Sir Moses Montefiore and his wife (who, like Rachel, was childless) added walls to the dome, and added a long room where visitors could find shelter from the weather, rest or have a bite to eat. The image of Rachel’s tomb that has been popularized in art and photos is of this structure.

Hôtel des Invalide, Paris

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides — Entrée Principale
Publisher: “J. H.”
On the back are stamps from the French Red Cross & the Musée de l’Armée

Google Street View.

The Hôtel des Invalides was commissioned in 1670 by Louis XIV in order to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers. In 1815, after Napoleon’s abdication, over 5,000 survivors of the Great Army were listed there. Napoleon inspected the place and visited his men in 1808, 1813 and 1815. The chapel of the Invalides was built at the end of the 17th century by Jules-Hardouin Mansart and contains Napoleon’s tomb. In 1840, during the ‘Return of the Ashes’, a law passed on 10th June ordered the construction of the Emperor’s tomb below the dome of the Invalides.

Under the authority of Louis XIV, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart had the Invalides’ royal chapel built from 1677 onwards. The Dome was Paris’ tallest building until the Eiffel Tower was erected. The many gilded decorations remind us of the Sun King, who issued an edict ordering the Hôtel des Invalides to be built for his army’s veterans. During the Revolution, the Dome became the temple of the god Mars. In 1800, Napoleon I decided to place Turenne’s tomb there and turned the building into a pantheon of military glories.

In 1840, Napoleon had been buried on Saint Helena Island since 1821, and King Louis-Philippe decided to have his remains transferred to Les Invalides in Paris. In order to fit the imperial tomb inside the Dome, the architect Visconti carried out major excavation work. The body of the Emperor Napoleon I was finally laid to rest there on 2 April 1861.
Musée de l’Armée

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides
Chapelle du Dôme et Tombeau de Napoléon
Le tombeau en granit rouge de Finlande présent de l’Empereur Nicolas de Russie. 12 figures colossales de Pradier, representant les victories of Napoleon, entourent le sarcophage. Hauteur 5m. ? 5 1/4 drapeaux, pris à Austrerlitz entourant thé monument. Le pourtour est en marbre blanc.
]The tomb if of red granite from Finland presented by Emperor Nicolas of Russia. 12 colossal figures, representing the victories of Napoleon surround the sarcophagus. Height 5m. ? flags, taken in Austerliz, surround the monument. The outer edge is white marble]
Publisher: “J. H.”

Google Street View.

The Dôme des Invalides (originally Chapelle royale des Invalides) is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex, 107 metres (351 ft) high. The dôme was designated to become Napoleon’s funeral place by a law dated 10 June 1840. Ousted in 1815 by the allied armies, Napoleon had stayed so popular in France that Louis-Philippe, the King of France from 1830 to 1848, returned his “ashes” in 1840. (His “ashes” mean his “mortal remains”; Napoleon was not cremated). The excavation and erection of the crypt, which heavily modified the interior of the domed church, took twenty years to complete and was finished in 1861. The Dôme des Invalides (originally Chapelle royale des Invalides) is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex, 107 metres (351 ft) high.

An immense circular crypt has been dug beneath the dome, within which, on three shafts of green marble, the sarcophagus containing the emperor’s coffin will repose. The block of porphyry which the curious are now flocking to see on the Quai d’Orsay is destined to cover the sarcophagus. A lower gallery, paved in mosaics and lined with marble bas-reliefs, representing the principal events in the Emperor’s life, will admit the public to circulate about the sarcophagus. Twelve colossal statues in white marble–of which six are already placed–will sustain an upper gallery, whence it may be looked down on and its details examined from above. These allegorical statues, from the chisel of Pradier, represent the principal branches of human activity–Science, Legislation, War, Arts, &c. A magnificent altar of black marble veined with white rises in front of the tomb. Four large and beautiful columns, also of black and white marble, support the canopy of carted and gilt wood. Ten broad steps, each cut from a single block of Carrara marble, lead up to the funeral altar. Beneath this altar is the passage to the lower gallery above spoken of, whose entrance is guarded on either side by the tombs, in black marble, of Bertrand and Duroe–dead marshals keeping wait at the door of the imperial dead. The marbles employed in the construction of this tomb cost not less than a million and a half (£60,000) in the rough;–the sculptures and bas-reliefs executed by Simart cost 600,000 francs (£24,000.) The block of porphyry for the covering of the sarcophagus weighs 45,000 kilogrammes : its extraction and carriage to Paris cost 140,000 francs (£5 600.) It comes from the shore of Lake Onega. Between the tombs of Bertrand and Duroe a shrine will be erected to receive the sword of Austerlilz, the Imperial Crown, and eighty standards captured under the Empire.
(Hobart) Courier, 14 July 1849

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides — Le Tombeau de Napoléon I
La Crypte – Sarcophage de Napoléon I — Au centre de la Crypte se dresse le sarcpohage posé sur un socle de granit vert des Vosges. Aucune sculpture inutile n’en dépare la sévere et majestesueuse simplicité. Le corps de l’Empereur, revetu de l’uniforme de chasseurs de la Vicille Garde, est renfermé la dans 6 enveloppes.
[The Crypt — Sarcophagus of Napoleon I — In the centre of the Crypt stands the sarcophagus on a base of green granite from Vosges. No unnescessary sculpture detracts from the severe and majestic simplicity. The body of the Emperor, dressed in the uniform of the Vicille Garde, is enclosed within 6 containers. ]
On the back are stamps from the French Red Cross & the Musée de l’Armée
Handwritten on the back:
Given by Russia to France as a tribute to the Great Napoleon. Casket containing Napoleon’s body He lies with his favorite military dress on with his sword & cap by his side. His wish was for his body to lie on the banks of the River Seine & this has been carried out.

PARIS. — Hôtel des Invalides — Chapelle Napoleon
Le moulage de la téte de l’Empereur Napoléon, Cénotaphe de Cherbourg, la Couronne d’or; dans le fond le poêle funéraire.
Publisher: “J. H.”

Death mask, golden crown & funeral shroud

Acheux British Military Cemetery, France


The VIII Corps Collection Station was placed at Acheux in readiness for the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the graves of July, August and September 1916, in Row A and part of Row B, are the earliest in the cemetery. A few graves in Row B mark the period of eighteen months during which the field ambulances had moved eastwards and the cemetery was little used. The remaining graves cover the period April to August 1918, when the German offensives brought the Allied front line within 8 kilometres of Acheux. There are now 180 First World War burials in the cemetery.
Remembering the Fallen

The Acheux British Military Cemetery is a World War I military cemetery located in the French Commune of Acheux-en-Amiénois in the Somme Region. . . . In 1916 the VIII Corps field hospital prepared a collection station in preparation for the Somme Offensive. The first burials occurred in the period between July and August 1916. A small amount of burials then occurred in an 18 month period from August 1916 to early 1918. The remaining graves belonged to those who were killed between April and August 1918, a period in which the German Army had launched the Spring Offensive bringing the front line closer to Acheux-en-Amiénois.

Turkish Cemetery, Marsa, Malta

Malta – Iruhs Cemetry

Google Street View.

A piece of land in the Ta’ Sammat area of Marsa was chosen as the new location in 1871. The new cemetery was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz, and it was constructed between 1873 and 1874. Construction took over six months to complete. It was designed by the Maltese architect Emanuele Luigi Galizia, who designed many other buildings in a range of contrasting styles, including the mixed-denomination Ta’ Braxia Cemetery and the Catholic Addolorata Cemetery. The outcome and reception of the later was pertinent for the appointment of Galizia as the architect of the Turkish Military Cemetery. The design for the project was unique in Maltese architecture at that point. Galizia was awarded the Order of the Medjidie by the Ottoman sultan for designing the Turkish cemetery, and thus was made a Knight of that order. At the end of the 19th century the cemetery became a landmark by its own due to its picturesque architecture. On the turn of the 20th century it became an obligation to acquire a permission from the Health Department for each burial within the cemetery for sanitary purposes.

Due to the absence of a mosque at the time, the cemetery was generally used for Friday prayers until the construction of a mosque in Paola. The small mosque at the cemetery was intended to be used for prayers during an occasional burial ceremony, but the building and the courtyard of the cemetery became frequently used as the only public prayer site for Muslims until the early 1970s.

Galizia (1830-1906) needs little introduction in the local field of architecture. Apart from his revivalist affinities, this architect is acclaimed for his eclectic creativity which he acquired as his career progressed. Revivals and pseudo-styles were the norm around Europe. Galizia, who was a traveled man, took a great liking to this romantic movement and embodied it in some of his more famous commissions. The Addolorata Cemetery (almost complete by 1869) strategically set upon the Tal-_orr hillside is one such example. It stands as Galizia’s largest and most celebrated undertaking.

Just as civil works were nearing completion on this national necropolis, Galizia was engaged to design a more diminutive burial ground, this time for the Muslim community residing in Malta. His concept for this cemetery exploited the character of the brief he was given, together with his acquired tastes for exotic forms. Galizia went for Oriental-Islamic ornament with its typically intricate qualities. When on tour in England he most likely visited John Nash’s Royal Brighton Pavilion (1815-21). Again, this was a style very much in fashion in Britain and the colonies. Much of this inspiration came from India, back then regarded as the crowning glory of the British Empire.

The rectangular plot set in a relatively flat landscape was also opportune for the use of vertical members such as minarets with onion-shaped finials. As with the Addolorata, Galizia also introduced the use of architectural trees as part of the landscaping, this time for the Muslim setting using ubiquitous palm trees. The carved lace-like perimeter walls are pierced by a lofty, horseshoe arched gateway through which one enters the cemetery. The only rooms present are chambers in which funerary rituals were performed prior to interment.

The constrained geometry of the site seems to have inspired Galizia into designing the orthogonal layout of the burial ground, perhaps more akin with classical grammars. It is here that his inclinations towards a fusion of styles begin to manifest themselves. The result was a symmetrically apportioned garden-like necropolis interspaced with sober horizontal grave slabs and simply engraved tombstones. Galizia’s sensitivity towards landscaping is evident again in the presence of flowerbeds. During the spring the cemetery abounds with blossoms and flowers appropriately recalling the Muslim vision of paradise.
“The Muslim Cemetery at Marsa (1871-74)” in The Architect, (p.24)

Chapel of Bones, Valletta, Malta

Malta – Chapel of Bones
Publisher: The Grand Studio

The Nibbia Chapel, located in the present grounds of the Evans Building, was a domed, octagonally-shaped building and is known so after Fra Giorgio Nibbia who was buried there. Its façade consisted of a large portal panel having the main door set within two clustered sets of Doric pilasters on each side. . . . The ossuary popularly known as The Chapel of Bones was a vaulted underground crypt, possibly beneath the Nibbia chapel, but could also have been in close vicinity, and is reputed to be still extant, where bones from a cemetery of those who had died at the Sacra Infermeria were placed in patterns and designs as mural decorations, hence its name. The Latin inscription on the single altar lamented the ephemerity of life and requested prayers for the dead.
Times of Malta

Nibbia Chapel was originally built in 1619 near the Sacra Infermeria cemetery by Fra Giorgio Nibbia, a knight of the Order of St John. Dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, it was intended as a place of prayer for the souls of the deceased patients of the hospital of the Order. In 1730, the original chapel was dismantled to make way for a hospital extension and it was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1731. The new building consisted of an octagonal structure with a dome, pilasters and pediments. More importantly, the chapel included a vaulted underground crypt which served as an ossuary.

When the Sacra Infermeria cemetery was cleared in 1776, its human remains were transferred to the ossuary, but it was only in 1852 that a certain Rev Sacco, then the chaplain of the hospital, had the grand idea of decorating the crypt with pretty patterns formed with human bones. The crypt had one altar on which was inscribed a Latin lament on the ephemerality of life, requesting prayers for the dead. This crypt became known as the Chapel of Bones.

The Nibbia Chapel (Maltese: Il-Kappella ta’ Nibbia) was a Roman Catholic chapel in Valletta, Malta, which was dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. It was originally built in 1619 by Fra Giorgio Nibbia, a knight of the Order of St. John, and it was located near a cemetery where deceased patients from the nearby Sacra Infermeria were buried. The chapel was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1731. In 1852 its crypt was decorated with skeletal human remains taken from the adjacent cemetery, giving rise to the name Chapel of Bones (Maltese: Il-Kappella tal-Għadam). The chapel was heavily damaged by aerial bombardment in 1941, and its ruins were subsequently demolished, leaving only some foundations on the site. However, the crypt might still survive intact.
. . .
The chapel had a vaulted underground crypt which served as an ossuary. Skeletal remains of patients who had died at the Sacra Infermeria were arranged in decorative patterns on the walls, and the crypt therefore became popularly known as the Chapel of Bones. The crypt had one altar, which had a Latin inscription lamenting the ephemerality of life and requesting prayers for the deceased. The exact location of the crypt has been lost, and it could have been either under the chapel itself or in the immediate vicinity.

Valletta Malta | Chapel of Bones
Dated & postmarked 1924

Ossuary, Bazeilles, France

BAZEIILES La Crypt-ou <<Ossuaire>>
Se compose de deux de séries de galleries paralleles se faisant face, séparées par un couloir central
Les galleries de droite sont occupées par les Françcais, celles de gauche par les Allemande.
(It consists of two galleries facing each other, separated by a central corridor
The galleries on the right are occupied by the French, those on the left by the Germans.)

Publisher: Suzaine-Pierson, Sedan

Street view (closest view)

Built in 1878 by the State on grounds that it had itself purchased from various parishes and individuals, the Necropolis and Ossuary was completed in 1890. It contains the remains of about 3,000 French and German soldiers.
Nécropole et Ossuaire de Bazeilles

For Germany, it was perhaps the Prussian Wars of Liberation that had the greatest effect upon relationships between soldiers, the army, and the nation.[9] In consequence, it was not republican France but imperial Germany that pushed for a comprehensive project to bury every officer and soldier who had died in the Franco-Prussian War. Article 16 of the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871 set the tone and established the framework for this new development, stating that, ‘The French and German governments reciprocally agree to respect and maintain the tombs of soldiers buried on their respective territories.’ Since most of the dead lay on French soil, the article can be interpreted as having been primarily motivated by concerns for the safety of German graves after the army withdrew from occupation. . . . French obligations under Article 16 of the Treaty of Frankfurt were laid out in the law on military tombs of 4 April 1873. . . . In cases where large numbers of soldiers were interred, the state undertook to construct a vault or ossuary and to erect a funerary monument.
Remembering the Franco-Prussian War Dead: Setting Precedents for the First World War

In the devastated village of Bazeilles, however, the ossuary containing the remains of all those who had died in the battle, including civillians, was designed to produce the opposite effect. Visitors could enter and view for themselves the skeletons of over two thousand victims separated into two piles according to nationality. The resulting effects was devastatingly stark and horrifit. Those who recorded their impressionsdescribed their revulsion at seeing clothing still shrouding some of the bones, a good still in its shoes and fingers still wearing wedding rings.
“Unmentionable Memories of the Franco-Prussian War”, Karine Varley, 2008 in “Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era”, p. 71

You descend into the partially underground crypt, and enter a central hallway. On the left, the German side, you will find several crypts containing grave monuments and memorials. These were erected and built during the German occupation of 1914-1918. When the Germans occupied this part of France in 1914 they were absolutely horrified to discover what the French had done with the remains of these soldiers of 1870. The bodies were not buried but lay stacked, haphazardly, inside the vaults. With their well-known Teutonic thoroughness, the Germans buried their soldiers in the crypt and sealed off the graves with concrete. Fortunately they left the French cellars untouched.

On the right, the French side, the situation is presumably largely as when the human remains were originally placed here. When you look into the crypts from behind the glass, on the left and right of a narrow `path’ you see heaps of body parts mixed together. Because of the climatic conditions here, some body parts are partly mummified. Many of the remains still have fragments of skin attached to them; sometimes a whole arm, including the fingers, are clearly visible. Bones protrude from soldiers’ boots, there are carcasses still with shreds of uniform on them; if you look carefully — much helped by the use of a torch — you can see the horrors of war in a quite extraordinary way, although the effect had been toned down over the passage of time, the remains collecting dust for the past 150 years.
“The Franco-Prussian War, 1870–1871: Touring the Sedan Campaign”, Maarten Otte, 2020, pp. 146