Thursday Doors – In a French Cemetery

I hope I shall be forgiven for the slightly strange theme of my Thursday Doors post this week. Whilst visiting and photographing a number of extraordinary ancient churches in our area over the last few months, I have also taken the opportunity to wander and explore a few of the local cemeteries.  The tiny glimpses into the past of real human lives afforded by these places is fascinating, not just historically but for the insights into the way our various cultures deal with the passing of life and the marking and remembrance of it. To an English mind used to simple country churchyards of grassy mounds and faded overgrown tombstones, the French cemetery is quite a culture shock.  Even in the small rural parishes the family mausoleum abounds, sometimes in row upon row of impressively carved classical structures, resembling miniature Roman cities within the cemetery walls.   I thought I would share a few photos from my favourite discoveries, a tiny local church and graveyard, a windswept cemetery worthy of Wuthering Heights and a town cemetery with street lighting and neat gravel pathways……… Cemetery Montigaud

Cemetery Chateauneuf 2

Cemetery 3A

Thanks as always to Norm Frampton for this excellent weekly challenge, to see more contributions please click here….

ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Price says:

    I love going through old cemeteries. Crypt doors are so interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re amazing places aren’t they Timothy! They’re very different from English churchyards though, in the country at any rate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Timothy Price says:

        We visited the cemetery in central Paris and found Serge Gainsbourg’s grave. It was surprisingly simple and unobtrusive for him being such a popular entertainer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haven’t been to one of the big city cemeteries, I suppose they would be different again, perhaps in Gainsbourg’s case the simplicity went with his poetry and songs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. French cemeteries are like cities made of little stone houses. In the US, I’ve been to cemeteries with some mausoleums, but those are the exceptions and always make me think of vampire movies. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Janet, yes I know what you mean about the vampire movies! There is something very strange about rows and rows of mausoleums ( mausolea looks better!) especially in some of these local cemeteries where everything is neatly tended like a bizarre housing estate!

      Like

  3. Grace says:

    I love old cemeteries, Jane. There are some beautiful ones in our area, with tombstones dating back to revolutionary times. I bet you see ones that date a lot older in France. I find strolling through them to be very restful, which I know sounds a little crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doesn’t sound at all crazy to me Grace, I find them fascinating too, so much to contemplate on so many levels! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your photographs always inspire me with images I want to create and stories I want to tell. I’m hoping that there will come a time when I can meet you and be taken on an endless tour of your area!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely thought Sarah! I’d be delighted, there really is so much that is inspiring here I’m sure you’d love it, let me know when you’re packing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nadia says:

    I love wandering through old cemeteries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They can be fascinating and inspiring places I reckon Nadia!

      Like

  6. Doors to the underworld in extreme. I always thought mausoleums odd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very odd indeed Sherry Lynn! I’m fascinated by them here, so many of them are just wonderful pieces of miniature architecture !

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very interesting, Jane, and I thank you for taking us along on your trip. These structures are lovely and classy. Our row upon row of short granite squares pale in comparison. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judy! The mausolea are a little strange but because of the history and the beautiful architecture of them they are strangely compelling!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Superb photos Jane – so much interest here…I too love the old cemeteries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello James! Delighted that you like them, they’re becoming a bit of a hobby – so many interesting ones locally! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    Wonderful post Jane! Cemeteries is not an odd subject at all. I’ve always found that you can discover so much about a place and its history just by visiting an old cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Norm and thanks! Glad you didn’t find it odd! And yes you’re right, the history in these places is fascinating, a small and personal view of history rather than the grand and political ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. facetfully says:

    Great post and thanks for sharing! There is a sense of peace in a cemetery to me, and much history, art and love. I guess some find them eerie, but not me…well, maybe at midnight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi facetfully – you share my feelings exactly – so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a dignified series of images for such a beautiful place! I know, beautiful may not be a propper word, but there is indeed a beauty in those places. And the kind of beauty varies from country to country. I’ve seen british, french, russian, german and mediteranian cementeries and you find on each of them a special spell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Markus! I think dignified is a good word here – cemeteries are beautiful I agree, full of peace and history and some beautiful artistry too ! Glad you like the pictures! 🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks for sharing them! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. wonderful photos, Jane. You’ll have to go back and take some night time shots, with those lovely street lamps. :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jean – that would be wonderful but just a tad spooky I think!! 😦 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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