4/365 Zakopane Cemetary

If there is anywhere in Zakopane where you can feel the spirit of a hundred years ago, it is at the Old Graveyard. It is plumed with birch trees, and a narrow path winds its way through the centre. The tombs themselves are very unusual. Many are crafted from gnarled blocks of wood. It is as if a magician has cast a spell on a host of tree stumps, and transformed them into enchanted folkloric sculptures. Many great figures from the arts are buried here, but we chiefly went because my husbands great great grandparents come from around here, and since I am now one of the family, we both wanted to visit for the first time. (My Mum is enjoying telling people we are visiting cemeteries on our honeymoon!) All kinds of artistic flourishes can be found on the memorials -  stout wooden crosses that are enlivened by florid carving, dreamy sculptures of Christ or the Virgin, the whole ensemble seems to have grown organically out of the ground, and  it could not be further removed from the cold, rigid geometry of so many Western graveyards - it's a distinctly un depressing place. And although it was pouring with rain, the colour from the autumn leaves and all the flowers and candles was enchanting in a very other worldly and magical way.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! How unusual compared to our stone gravestones...