This is not my kind of place. A cemetery. I can recall a few instances of touring a cemetery on past travels, but in each case it was either part of a larger guided city tour (so I did not have a choice in the matter) or was right there where I was doing other sightseeing, so going in for a quick look was not taking away from the itinerary.
But this one is a World Heritage site, on the list for over twenty years now. Its short UNESCO description recognizes the fine landcsape design that blends nature and architecture, something that always piques my interest. As little as I ever consider cemeteries as places to visit, my desire to see as many World Heritage sites as possible won out in this particular case. We went to Skogskyrkogården while in Stockholm.
I cannot say that I was overly impressed. People who like cemeteries as stimulators of quiet reflection on life, universe, and everything, may be more enchanted with what these vast burial grounds can offer. Me, I can appreciate the pleasing contours of the main features and the neatness of the planned layout, but in the end, the rows of graves somehow do not co-exist in my head with the notion of enjoying the scenery.
Here are a couple of angles looking at the main architectural feature on the cemetery grounds, the portico that leads to the chapels of the Holy Cross, Faith, and Hope, and to the crematorium.
We walked a little bit between burial sections. The cemetery does not have many famous internments – Greta Garbo is nearly the only well-known name I can recognize among those whose resting place is Skogskyrkogården, and we did not come up to her headstone – so I only took a few random wide-angle shots.
We were visiting at the end of the day, when the setting sun offered a few opportunities to attempt to capture the scenery in HDR.
If you are into visiting cemeteries (and Skogskyrkogården is a major tourist attraction in Stockholm, which leads me to believe many people are into that kind of sightseeing), you can easily spend several hours on the vast grounds. For me, a little over half an hour was enough to consider the place visited for the purposes of my World Heritage collection. The cemetery is reached from central Stockholm via metro in about 20 minutes.
These and a few other pictures of Skogskyrkogården have been added to my Flickr Stockholm album.