Could you imagine a cemetery as a unique architectural object and a park where the whole family may relax? The ancient Green-Wood Cemetery in New York proves that it is more than possible. Its history dates back to the 19th century, and nowadays the cemetery occupies a huge area that is bigger than the area of parks in New York. Citizens of the Big Apple know that many prominent personalities are buried there, so during the warm season they often come to learn more about the history of their hometown and enjoy the strange tranquility and picturesqueness of this place. Read more on new-york-future.
The history of Green-Wood: facts
It is just impossible to miss a large gray spot with an almost regular geometric shape while looking at the New York map. It is the famous Green-Wood Cemetery, which has existed for more than a century. It was founded in 1835 and was originally planned to be a rural cemetery in Kings County, which was later renamed Brooklyn. Green-Wood reached its greatest popularity in the second half of the 19th century. During that period famous people, politicians, and wealthy New Yorkers were buried there. At that time, it could even compete with Niagara Falls in terms of popularity. Every year Green-Wood was visited by more than half a million citizens and tourists. People came to rest in a picturesque place, took pleasure in nature, and organized holidays and excursions. To make the cemetery more convenient, a small excursion bus now runs there every day, because it will take more than one day to go around the entire complex on foot.
Green-Wood Cemetery is a huge park complex with green lawns, ponds, and authentic architectural elements. For example, the Neo-Gothic style gate was built in 1861, and it impresses visitors with its sophistication at first glance. Green-Wood is firmly associated with a beautiful chapel where you can relax, meditate or pray. Many local inhabitants come here to just sit in silence or read.
It can be assumed that Green-Wood was a cemetery long before it received an official title because, in 1776, fierce battles for the American Revolution took place on this territory. However, the Battle of Green-Wood, which is the highest point in New York, never received much publicity and was hardly commented on by military historians.
It is hard to imagine how many people are buried in Green-Wood, there is only an approximate figure – 600,000 people. However, this is not the final number because burials continue. Many famous people of New York, such as Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraphic alphabet, composer and pianist Leonard Bernstein, plus artist and designer Louis Tiffany, got their final place of rest in Green-Wood. It is worth mentioning that even the graves of legendary people look very simple, laconic and modest without monuments, flowers, and portraits. Sometimes even the life dates of a person are not indicated on the tombstones.
Entertainment at Green-Wood Cemetery
Various concerts are constantly arranged in the famous New York cemetery both outdoors and in the underground catacombs. Although, the choice of a place for such events seems to be strange at first glance. Visitors especially enjoy performances of classical music in the mysterious atmosphere of the ancient cemetery, some of the events are сombined with the degustations of luxury alcohol. Concerts are especially charming when the rays of the sunset burn over Green-Wood.
Also, the Cemetery annually organizes interesting entertainment programs on Halloween. Visitors can take a nighttime tour of the cemetery in costume and take a candlelit walk along the paths of old Green-Wood. They are accompanied by actors, tour guides and musicians, which makes the atmosphere of the tour truly unforgettable.