Streets of the Dead – Cemiterio dos Prazeres, Lisbon

High on a hill in Lisbon, lies a remarkable graveyard. Its tombs are lined up in streets, an echo of a town – or maybe its ghost. It was built in 1833 after a cholera outbreak.

You can reach the cemetary by walking, or by riding tram 28 to it’s last stop in Prazeres thereby hitting two touristy things in one hit. On a warm day, either option may be a bit uncomfortable – but at least the tram saves your legs! As you arrive through the sweeping entrance, a grand chapel welcomes you.

57561164_2352826581404974_3522142365500309504_n

As with many cemeteries its a peaceful place – apart from the planes flying over every ten minutes or so. But I don’t think the residents here are complaining.

Branching off the main path, are 70 “streets”, lined with tombs and graves, large and small.

57761926_1285330731633992_5857810628344807424_n

Branching off this main path, are a number of little “streets”, each lined with tombs, both large and small. Smaller gaves line the walls, privy to a spectacular view over the river Tagus and 25 April Bridge.

58833834_2180780045340182_2680674885423857664_n

It’s the tombs leave the biggest impression however. Many of them have glass front doors (some with lace curtains) through which you can actually see the caskets of the departed, gathering dust for eternity.

I was a bit shocked by this, which isn’t to say it was horrific, it’s more a reflection about the culture I’ve grown up in. I’ve only been to one funeral where the coffin was present and trying to get my head around that was hard. And I’ve seen many graveyards and tombs and ancient skeletons even, but this was up front and personal in a different way.

57459326_316682642359325_1340909994064740352_n

Even though the windows were there on purpose so people could pay their respects, looking through them myself felt intrusive. Which is why I didn’t take any close-up photos of them either.

Whatever your own experiences, it’s a fascinating place to visit and it’s nice to be removed from some of the cities busier areas for a while.  Inspiration wise, there’s scope for your traditional horror story here, but I also like the idea of this being a small “ghost” town a bit like Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” or Terry Pratchett’s “Johnny and the Dead”.

58441666_2323858987884287_117337342590582784_n

What do you think of this place? Let me know in the comments?

Related reads

Brookwood Cemetery – A Final Resting Place in the Woods

A Visit to Glasgow Necropolis

Symbolism and Status – An Enlightening Tour of Highgate Cemetery West


⇒Find out more about my books⇐

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: