Thursday, April 9, 2009



The kids are out of town, the man finished work for the long weekend, so the two of us have nearly infinite possibilities for what we wanted to do today.

Know what we did?

We visited a cemetery.

Totally weird, but that was the point. This cemetery is totally weird.

It has got to be one of the best cases for keeping up with the Joneses since the Pyramids. Indeed there was one too.

At some point, all the well to do families just couldn't hold their heads up in good company if they didn't have a family crypt on Montjuic designed by a known architect and built by a sculptor.


Now this cemetery is mind-blowingly huge. Square footage is pretty good, but they are all apartment style niches, each holding entire families, so the population in here has got to be pretty good.

When you get down towards the bottom though, then it gets a really amazing.

Some of these are in poor taste, some are horrific, some are kind of nice in a really weird and frankly freaky way.

There were two that were astonishingly ghastly. We are talking the living embodiment of bad taste. There were photos of the people inside. They died youngish. They looked like they had probably been gunned down for their involvement with the underworld. I am not going to say any more than that, and I have no photos.

Some things though were strikingly different.

First, there is some serious cult of the dead kind business going on here. Nothing stiff upper lip about it. Goodness gracious.

I do not like the ones labeled with the man's name only. Everyone else falls under, "and family".

If the man does that, I will haunt him horrifically for all eternity.

There were several that had notices on them saying that they would be given away, presumably the generations that followed hadn't kept up with the payments.

What I want to know is, what do they do with the remains when the family stops paying?

Something else interesting, the vast majority of the stones only had the death dates, so you have no way of knowing how old they were, and there was normally only the family name, and nothing else. You are, I guess, not truly an individual, but part of a family. Interesting.

These are some of the crypts....They are huge, three stories at least.

I don't even know what to call this style - poor taste high Gothic?


The pyramid....


This one had mosaic tile work where all the colour is, sadly it is falling off the walls.

It's OPEN!!!! I pulled the door open and peered down, but didn't go in, seemed just a little too irreverent....

See, this one is Joaquim Roig and family, but you may notice that it too is open and I can attest to the fact that it is empty. Seems his wife and family weren't too happy with the billing either.


Early observatory?

I did like these a whole lot. Very very Catalan.

An empty niche.

Catalan painter, only famous person we found.

I love this one, he's an anatomy professor and look at the sculpture!

We also saw a utility truck driven by one of the staff go by with used aged open coffins in the back!!! Empty. But but but, where were they? Is this what happens if they don't pay up?

For the record, the man and I decided; cremate us and scattered us water I think. This was too much.

Amazing, but too much.

We went for a burger after that. Lunch at 4:30. I was about ready to gnaw off someone's arm.



Beth said...

I was kind of wondering about the title of this post, but your pictures show very clearly that this cemetary is a destination worthy of a visit! WOW!

Too bad it turned you into a flesh-eating zombie, though...

oreneta said...

Better than a toast eating zombie!

Anonymous said...

went for a burger....hmmm I am wondering.. WHERE?
Ever been to Pere Lachaise in Paris? Actually I think Montjuc beats it!

oreneta said...

J-VLF...not there!!!! The Fastnet bar in Barceloneta and no, we haven't been to that cemetery in Paris, though we did discuss's the one with Morris isn't it?

Beth said...

How timely (considering the upcoming holiday) to be visiting crypts!
Ashes, wind and water - that's the kind of everlasting send-off I want.

mare ad mare said...

Love your pics, I have a similar eye (but not as good a photographer!)... Amazed at the range of design in one cemetery, it's like there are people from various cultures all buried in the same place.

J.G. said...

Very cool. Old cemeteries are among my favorite places to visit.

Agree that "and family" is pretty darn dismissive! Especially in a culture that supposedly preserves the matrilinial line, too, yes?

One thing for sure: Dr. Farreras--or someone in his family--had a GREAT sense of humor.

C.S. said...

I've always said, when you're lookin' to have fun, nothing beats a day at the cemetery. :)

hulagirlatheart said...

I love a good cemetery! They are fascinating places. I think they speak volumes about time and people. I should show some pics of the cemeteries around here. They aren't as elaborate as this one but certainly interesting. Thanks for the tour!

oreneta said...

Beth, We debated going on with the theme today, the Egyptian museum has a display of diseased skeletons, which would be fascinating, but it is pricey, small and not really what we felt like today. Maybe I'll go in one day.

Mare, thank you very is certainly, um, ecclectic.

JG, cemeteries ARE fascinating. Turns out that most of those opened crypts were opened, in the time honoured fashion, by grave robbers who also reputedly stole decorations from the outside as well.

CS...ummmmmmm......they can be interesting though...

Hula, I'd love a tour of your local cemetery...maybe we could start a theme here....

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

All that certainly makes a great case for cremation. Just who is enjoying all this sculpture? The living! Imagine spending oodles of money on a tribute to yourself once you're gone. I'm all for spending my son's inheritance while I can still enjoy it! God, that sounded callous, didn't it?!

oreneta said...

Bodhi, it's worse than that, they are not only spending all the kid's inheritance, but they are obliging their kids to continue to maintain the d*mn thing for who knows how long. CREMATION!!!

mmichele said...

Nothing like a walk in the cemetary to make one hungry...

oreneta said...

Mmichele, someone's got to do the eating, no?

dawn said...

Wow, that is fascinating. I find cemeteries very interesting but this one outdoes any I have visited.

oreneta said...

Dawn, it was pretty amazing....