Symmetric Cemetery

“We need to build a new cemetery in Palermo,” ordered King Ferdinand II. “This bloody cholera is killing people faster than we can dig graves.” Chewing tobacco and speaking in his typical mumble, the king pronounced it “cemet’ry”. The architect, too shy to ask, was unsure whether he had understood “cemetery” or “symmetry”, so he decided to build both in one.

cimitero di santa maria dei rotoli 1

cimitero di santa maria dei rotoli 2

cimitero di santa maria dei rotoli 3

(Photos of Cimitero di Santa Maria dei Rotoli taken from dangerously close to the cliff of Monte Pellegrino.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Italy, Photography, Sicily, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Symmetric Cemetery

  1. wow this is really cool! I didn’t see this when we were up there!
    It doesn’t look like a cemetery at all but symmetry for sure it is.

  2. dino bragoli says:

    Wow! Stunning shots! Something I have never seen before, it looks like only the small mausolea in the picture would have the stacking system often used to save space. Given that most of us are mere mortals, the day will come when there won’t be enough space on the Island to preserve the remains of the dead. Never fear there are modern cemetry building designs which efficiently cater for multiple stacking. These are symmetrical but aren’t nearly as romantic, at least a fork lift could be used.

  3. Loren Rhoads says:

    That looks like an amazing place. Did you go down and wander through it?

    • Unfortunately not this time. But I will be back in Palermo in February and I hope to find time then.

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      I’ll look forward to your impressions then!

    • Unfortunately I didn’t have time either on my subsequent visit to Palermo. I was with my Dad and he was most fascinated by all the churches and cathedrals, so I spent a lot of time in them (and many of them are truly magnificent).

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