Kerepesi Cemetery

One place that Richie and I usually visit when traveling is the local cemetery. It may seem morbid, but cemeteries are a wonderful way to learn a little bit of history and culture of the city. It’s fascinating to see how tombs are decorated – in some places with photos, epitaphs, and abundant flowers; in others simplicity reigns, with merely a name and a date. And most cemeteries have high walls surrounding them and lush greenery inside, so a leisurely stroll through the gardens makes for a nice break from the more hectic sightseeing.

Until this week, I hadn’t been to one in Budapest, mostly because it seems a little odd to say to friends, “It’s such a nice day out! How about we go visit some graves?” But I recently volunteered to revive the NAWA walking group (it sort of petered out as previous members moved away) and was flipping through my Only in Budapest book to find a new place to go. One of the suggestions was the Kerepesi Cemetery, which I had always wanted to visit. And, as one of the walkers yesterday said, it doesn’t matter that the weather has been gloomy and drizzly, because that’s perfect cemetery weather!

We arrived at the cemetery after a good ten minutes’ confusion – note to future tourists: don’t trust Google Maps regarding the location of the entrance. After a little bit of bungled Hungarian, we obtained a few English-language maps of the place, marking the plots of the most famous Hungarians and a few interesting sights. Because of the cold, fog, and drizzle, we didn’t spend nearly as much time there as we could – you could literally spend hours there. The grounds are expansive, with interesting headstones tucked into nearly every inch, and despite the winter chill, we could see the promise of beautiful flowers and trees in the spring. I will definitely be coming back then (perhaps with a guide to explain some of the significance of various people), but here were a few of my favorite sights of the day.

The outside of this ruined mausoleum was intriguing. The holes in the doors (where glass should have been) allowed a view inside.
The outside of this ruined mausoleum was intriguing. The holes in the doors (where glass should have been) allowed a view inside.
Inside the mausoleum. Out of sight of the camera was a lot of debris and damage - this was broken into a number of times, apparently.
Inside the mausoleum. Out of sight of the camera was a lot of debris and damage – this was broken into a number of times, apparently.
The Hungarian spelling of Dvorak?
The Hungarian spelling of Dvorak?
This family tomb appeared to have been... looted?!
This family tomb appeared to have been… looted?!
The tombs of the Petofi family. Sandor Petofi was a poet and a revolutionary in the 1848 uprising against the Hapsburgs.
The tombs of the Petofi family. Sandor Petofi was a poet and a revolutionary in the 1848 uprising against the Hapsburgs.
I don't know who this belonged to, but it was huge and gorgeous.
I don’t know who this belonged to, but it was huge and gorgeous.
The tombs of Dr. Jozsef Antall and Ferencz Deak
The tombs of Dr. Jozsef Antall and Ferencz Deak
Dr. Antall's tomb was creeeeepy.
Dr. Antall’s tomb was creeeeepy.
A shrouded headless horseman. Not creepy at all.
A shrouded headless horseman. Not weird at all.
Another of the figures surrounding Dr. Antall's tomb.
Another of the figures surrounding Dr. Antall’s tomb.
Karoly Lotz was the artist who painted murals in the Parliament, as well as the Buda Castle and the Opera.
Karoly Lotz was the artist who painted murals in the Parliament, as well as the Buda Castle and the Opera.
The mausoleum of Ferencz Deak, famous for being a statesman during the 1848 revolutions as well as the name of the central metro station.
The mausoleum of Ferencz Deak, famous for being a statesman during the 1848 revolutions as well as the name of the central metro station.
A memorial for the people killed during the 1956 revolution - this one caught my eye due to the Brunner family name (my grandmother was a Brunner). Those killed are listed with their ages and occupations.
A memorial for the people killed during the 1956 revolution – this one caught my eye due to the Brunner family name (my grandmother was a Brunner). Those killed are listed with their ages and occupations.
The mausoleum for the Labor Movement (and the most overtly Communist part of the cemetery)
The mausoleum for the Labor Movement (and the most overtly Communist part of the cemetery)
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2 Replies to “Kerepesi Cemetery”

    1. It certainly is imposing! When I go back, I’m definitely asking about the symbolism behind it… he was the first minister of post-Communist Hungary and was well-liked, so I’m not sure why his surroundings are so ominous.

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