This morning I've been visiting the Montjuic cemetery in Barcelona. I went
there with mixed expectations, since the information I could find online
indicated that Spanish cemeteries tend to have these massive walls full of
small "urn storage graves", which are not of any real interest to me.
God, was I amazed how different it really turned out to be. Now, after having
seen it, I think it has definitely made it into my personal top ten of
world-wide cemeteries. Thousands of angels, and other extremely beautiful
Family graves of the wealthy Barcelona families from the late 19th and early
20th century, as rich in architecture, sculptures and details that make many
church look extremely plain next to them. And there you have hundreds in one
The whole cemetery is very well maintained, and due to its situation on the
side of the Montjuic hill, next to the sea and in direct sun there is very
limited vegetation (and therefor no spread of plants onto graves, etc.).
So by now, knowing my affection for cemeteries, you must have thought that I
was in heaven while visiting Montjuic. Almost, if there wasn't that stupid "no
photography" sign at the entrance. It made me hesitate a bit, but then I thought
"well, southern Europeans are generally a bit more open to bending the laws, so
let's try it anyway". I took some five pictures, and no later than 10 minutes
after entering the cemetery, I was stopped by no less than six cemetery guards,
who were constantly patrolling the whole cemetery with their small scooters.
They took my personal details (I wonder whether they will send me a fine to
Germany *g*), and asked me to delete those pictures on the camera. I did
without hesitation. The technical reader of this blog will know how easy it
is to undelete files from a FAT filesystem ;)
Anyway, I didn't engage in any further photography, and I was saddened to see
all this beauty, and being deprived of capturing at least tiny bits of it in order
to take it home with me, put some more prints to the walls of my apartment, etc.
This really has been the first cemetery I've been to which disallowed
photography. And I've been to many hundred cemeteries, mainly in Europe but also in
other parts of the world. And they don't even state _why_ they don't allow it. I would
pay for a photo pass, I would sign off on no any "no commercial use"
declaration or whatever. *sigh*.
I mean I can perfectly understand if people protest against inappropriate photo
shootings at cemeteries (you know what I mean... barely naked women tied to
graves, etc.), and there is _nothing_ in common between such inappropriate
behavior and somebody like me, who basically wants to honour the original
artist/sculpturer by taking some pictures for personal use only.