Cemeteries

The First Cemetery of Athens Part 2

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This looks like a big bird cage in a jungle.

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“Angel’ by famous Greek sculptor Giannoulis Halepas

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An angel either pondering or telling us to be quiet.

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‘Hoo are you looking at?’

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I found out after visiting the cemetery that here are three other sculptures of ‘sleeping’ women in the cemetery. This is the only one I found that day.  It is the grave of a Maria Deligianni sculpted by Ioannis Vitsaris.

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So unique. Never seen anything like this before.

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The irony of the Greek word ‘Zoe’ which means ‘life’ on the cross of a grave.

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A sculpture of a Greek style sphinx.

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An Egyptian style sphinx .

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The grave site of Greek commander and chief  of the revolutionary war of 1821 Theodoros Kolokotronis.

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The inscription reads ‘Easy passerby here lies the old man of ‘Morea’ (Peloponnese) do NOT disturb his sleep.’ This is a message to would be invaders!

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Richard Church an Irish military officer in the British army who helped the Greek army in the Greek revolution of 1821. He was good friends with Theodoros Kolokotronis.

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‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.’ Marcus Tillius Cicero.

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‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’- Mark Twain

This is the second blog post dedicated to the First Cemetery of Athens. I spent almost three hours (!) exploring the old cemetery. Time went by so fast and my camera would not stop clicking. After doing some more research on the cemetery I realized I had not even seen half of it. I might go back in the future because there are some other famous sculptures at at the far end of the cemetery.

I don’t know anyone personally who is buried here. You can only be a citizen of central Athens to be buried here. This is why I have never been to this cemetery before. Overall it was a great experience and I think everyone should visit a cemetery and leave and taboos and fears behind and pay their respect to those who have passed, and reflect on life and death rather than just being in the moment or being present all the time.

The First Cemetery of Athens Part 1

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The tomb of business man and philanthropist George Averoff who died in 1899.

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I was in awe of this very old cemetery.

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A huge family grave belonging to a wealthy family.

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The very beloved Archbishop Christodoulos

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An angel holding a cross on the family grave of the  Pesmatzoglou. A very old aristocratic Athenian family.

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An angel holding a cross symbolizes redemption.

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This bust looks like ‘Lurch’ the butler from the Addams Family!

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Grave of famous Greek actress Aliki Viouklaki

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Grave of famous Greek actor Lambros Konstandaras

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A huge family mausoleum

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The grave of the legendary actress/singer Sofia Vebo.

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Sofia was given the nickname ‘The singer of victory’ «Τραγουδίστρια της Νίκης»

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It has been a year since my mother’s passing and we just recently held the one year memorial service for her. It isn’t until you lose a close member of your family that you become more acquainted with cemeteries. I wouldn’t normally tour and photograph a cemetery, as most of the cemeteries in Greece are very ‘cookie cutter’, meaning every grave looks the same. However, when I heard about the history and art of the First Cemetery of Athens I knew I had to pay a visit.

The First Cemetery of Athens dates back to 1837 and it is the oldest modern cemetery in Athens. It is a very unique graveyard in that it contains a lot of beautiful sculptures. There are over 768 sculptures carved by famous artists, 10, 233 family graves and 2,007 three year graves.

It is so big, about 170 acres, so it is impossible to explore all of it in one day. I took a lot of photographs so this post will be in two parts.