1. Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania
Merry Cemetery is a cemetery located in the Romanian village of Sapanta, in which several hundred brightly painted tombstones tell the story (in art and poetry) of the lives they commemorate.
2. Okunoin Cemetery, Mount Koya, Japan
Okunoin Cemetery, the largest grave site in all of Japan, also serves as the mausoleum of the monk Kobo Daishi, who founded it centuries ago. The cemetery is lit by thousands of lanterns and features many uniquely shaped monuments — including coffee cups, spaceships, and one that honors insects killed by a pesticide company.
3. Waverley Cemetery, Sydney
Sydney’s beautiful Waverley Cemetery is the burial site of many notable Australian poets, including Henry Lawson and Henry Kendall, and authors Dorothea Mackellar and Ethel Pedley. The cemetery opened in 1877.
4. Cementerio Santa MarÃa Magdalena de Pazzis, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Built in 1863, the Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis was built overlooking the Atlantic Ocean to represent one’s spiritual journey into the afterlife. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico’s most notable political leaders, artists, actors, and musicians.
5. Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Founded in 1838, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood cemetery attracts over half a million visitors per year, drawn to its famous residents, natural beauty, and history — the site is a Revolutionary War historic site. Among the 560,000+ people buried there are, per its website, “Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors.”
6. NecrÃ³polis CristÃ³bal Colon, Havana
Cuba’s Colon Cemetery is considered one of the most important historical cemeteries in the world and features many elaborate aboveground mausoleums. The cemetery incorporates over 1 million interments.
7. First Cemetery of Athens, Greece
The First Cemetery in Athens is the city’s first, and official, cemetery, and soon after its founding in 1837, became an upper-tier burial site for Greece’s most famous residents as well as wealthy foreigners.
8. Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans
New Orleans’ Saint Louis Cemetery is comprised of three distinct Roman Catholic cemeteries, though none is as prominent as No. 1, which features elaborate aboveground vaults constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Among its residents is Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, who is believed to be buried in the Glapion crypt.
9. PÃ¨re-Lachaise, Paris
Established by Napoleon in 1804, The Père-Lachaise is Paris’s largest cemetery. The site is home to three World War I memorials and many famous residents, including Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Proust, and Rafael Trujillo.
10. Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
Novodevichy Cemetery was designed by famed architect Ivan Mashkov and features a number of unique and large sculpted monuments as well as a columbarium for the public storage of urns. Many famous Russians, including playwright and author Anton Chekhov and actor Constantin Stanislavski, are buried here.
11. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York
New York’s Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is famous for both its place in classic literature and the American Revolution. It is also one of still relatively few cemeteries to dedicate a portion of its grounds to natural burial (i.e., burial that does not involve embalming or caskets).
12. Cementerio General, Santiago, Chile
Santiago’s Cementerio General, with over 2 million burials, is one of the largest cemeteries in Latin America. All but two of Chile’s former presidents are buried there.
13. Bonaventure, Savannah, Georgia
Bonaventure was originally built as a family plantation, whose smaller burial ground has expanded over time to the larger public burial ground it is today. The site is known for its ethereal, haunting construction and surrounding natural beauty.
14. Highgate Cemetery, London
Highgate Cemetery is home, most famously, to Karl Marx, but is also known for its Gothic tombs and buildings. It has also often been home to rumors about a creature called the “Highgate Vampire.”
15. Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague
Prague’s beautiful (and crowded) Old Jewish Cemetery was in use from the early 15th century to 1787.
16. Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
The Mount of Olives is the name given to mountain ridge overlooking Jersulem’s Old City, once covered in olive trees but now by an estimated 150,000 gravestones. According to Jewish tradition, the resurrection of the dead brought on by the Messiah’s return will begin here.
17. La Recoleta, Buenos Aires
La Recoleta, established in 1822, is frequently regarded as one of the most beautiful cemeteries of the world, and is permanent home to many famous people, including Eva Perón, Argentinian presidents, and Napoleon’s granddaughter, among others.
18. South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata, India
Established in 1767, Kolkata’s South Park Street Cemetery is one of the world’s earliest cemeteries not attached to a church. The site was in use until 1830 and is now a historical site.