A Visit to the Noorder Begraafplaats

As many of my friends already know, I love cemeteries and am very interested in funeral/burial customs. I have visited graves and graveyards from small and rural to large and cosmopolitan. On vacations I usually try to visit cemeteries or graves of note in the area. When I live someplace one of my favorite things is to visit the local cemeteries. Graves that are no longer visited by friends or family have a special place in my heart. I like to visit those graves in particular because I think it is important to remember those who came before us.

Right after college I surveyed and documented an historic cemetery. It was overgrown, the headstones were cracked or otherwise broken, and except for the occasional township employ largely forgotten. It took me a little over a year to complete the project and during that time I grew to know (as best I could) the inhabitants. Before picking of where I left off documenting, I would revisit other graves and pay my respects. Sometimes I would bring my family and introduce them to my most recent friend. I wasn’t related to any of the inhabitants but they were special to me nonetheless.

This spring the weather has been beautiful and perfect for visiting the cemetery. Noorder Begraafplaats is one of the most colorful cemeteries I have visited. There are flowers growing everywhere and the trees are in bloom.

Entrance to the Noorder Begraafplaats
Entrance to the Noorder Begraafplaats
Grave Depicting birds on a branch in Noorder Begraafplaats
Grave Depicting birds on a branch in Noorder Begraafplaats
This is the most colorful headstone I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I do not know who is buried here since there is no name plaque.
This is the most colorful headstone I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I do not know who is buried here since there is no name plaque.
A lovely grave with butterflies and Bhuddas
A lovely grave with butterflies and Bhuddas
There were watering cans at regular intervals. I think this is so thoughtful and a great way to ensure that the flowers stay hydrated.
There were watering cans at regular intervals. I think this is so thoughtful and a great way to ensure that the flowers stay hydrated.
At first I thought this was a memorial monument but it seems to be just a piece of art. There was no plaque near this sculpture.
At first I thought this was a memorial monument but it seems to be just a piece of art. There was no plaque near this sculpture.
Not all the headstones were in Dutch.
Not all the headstones were in Dutch.
This is one of a couple glass headstones I saw. The glass headstones seem to be from the last 10 years.
This is one of a couple glass headstones I saw. The glass headstones seem to be from the last 10 years.

The children’s graves that I saw were often covered with toys and lanterns. Some headstones, like those below, were whimsically shaped and it is easy to imagine a child choosing the design. Rarely have I seen graves that show so much personality.

An Ernie shaped headstone.
An Ernie shaped headstone.
Mushroom grave with a gnome.
Mushroom grave with a gnome.
A beautiful spot to sit.
A beautiful spot to sit.