We slept in Saturday, had breakfast in bed, and watched a documentary about Skogs-kyrkogården, the Woodland Cemetery. It was All Saint´s Day, and they were expecting about 70.000 visitors. We decided to add two to that number, since lighting candles at the cemetery is a tradition we have observed for many years. The Woodland Cemetery is on the Unesco World Heritage list, and I have been wanting to see it for many years. And now it just became the natural thing to do.
|The cemetery is very large, and each part has it´s own style of burial.|
|One corner is for the Catholics. There is also a Jewish Cemetery.|
|The Chapel of Resurrection, that looks very much like what I imagine a Roman temple would have looked like.|
|At the other end of this long road, Seven Springs Way, is the hill where we finally lit our candles.|
|Inside the chapel, designed by Sigurd Lewerentz.|
|The same architect, Lewerentz, also designed these outhouses, consciously brutalizing the beauty of the chapel.|
|I couldn´t help wonder what my father-in-law, the mason, would have thought about this.|
|The tall forrest gives the whole place a cathedral-like atmosphere.|
|Towards the big Chapel of the Holy Cross and the Crematorium.|
|Looks like a hobbit´s house.|
|The Woodland Chapel.|
|The Chapel of the Holy Cross.|
|There was some kind of service going on, so we didn´t enter, but it´s always nice to have a reason to return.|
|The view from the big chapel towards the hill.|
|The Chapel of Hope. I love how the visiting family mirrors the family depicted on the altar painting.|
|The benches are angled, so the mourners can sit closer to one another. Talk about attention to detail!|
|The grave of the head architect, who died from exhaustion only a short time after the consecration ceremony.|
It was a wonderful afternoon, even though the light was bad and there was a hailstorm. We really had this sense of community, and this is what it´s like on most cemeteries in Sweden on All Saint´s Day. We passed the grave of Greta Garbo without seeing it, so that´s one more reason to return. I´d also like to see the cemetery in summer, in full bloom.
Halloween has been a controversial, and commercial, import the last few years, but it´s mostly considered a masquerade party thing for the children. Still, some older folks think kids dressed up as ghouls and skeletons are offensive on a weekend traditionally reserved for stillness, meditation and rememberance. But I suppose times change, and traditions will, too.