January 10, 2012

Graveyard by the Franciscan Monastery of Pridvorje

Today I am participating in a new meme recently started on a topic that fascinates me: burial grounds. Taphophile Tragics is the title of the meme and will be posted on Tuesdays.

Quoting from Julie's blog:
Taphophilia is an interest, morbid or otherwise, in graveyards and cemeteries. Graveyards were attached to churches, whereas cemeteries were specifically set up for the burial of the dead.

A taphophile is one who finds they are attracted to walking around cemeteries, reading the headstones and musing upon the family history contained therein.
Yes, that describes me. There is something a little curious about that, too. 

My biological father, a Morocco-born Frenchman (whom I did not grow up with, but met as a young adult), had an absolute horror of cemeteries. When we traveled together, he became visibly upset whenever I wanted to go explore one. He never could adequately explain that aversion to me. I surmised it might stem from a fear of death. So I find it intriguing that my inclination is so opposite.

My first post on this topic is a tiny strip of graveyard on the side of a small Franciscan monastery near the village of Pridvorje on the slope of Mount SnjeĹžnica. It is about 8 kilometers (5 miles) up the hill from Cavtat, the gorgeous town on the Adriatic Sea where we lodged in May of 2009 for four nights when my mother's car broke down (see earlier post).

The monastery with the church of St Blaise was built 1423-1429. I can only guess that it is former resident Franciscan monks who were buried here. Had I known I would one day post for this meme, I would have paid more attention to details and taken more photos.

While we saw no one in the monastery, the many fresh flowers left on the graves, as well as in the courtyard, told me this place was not deserted.




Croatia, 2009

24 comments:

Peter said...

It looks a beautiful location, love the architecture of the associated church.

joo said...

It's a fascinating topic! I've always found the cemeteries interesting and whenever I am I try to visit them.The one here seems really beautiful!
have a nice week:)

EG Wow said...

Interesting topic and I look forward to seeing what other graveyards you've photographed around the world. Thanks for the map!

Dianne said...

An interesting glimpse into a cemetery with a view - I'm not interested in the newer cemeteries but I love mozzying around old historic places and pondering on the history of the families buried there.

tapirgal said...

Good stuff. The setting with the view is grand. I especially love that tower. I like the square stone towers of the Romanesque or ones that look like they belong to that period.

Gemma Wiseman said...

A hillside cemetery has such charm! This one has lovely views and love the olde worlde sacred atmosphere!

Ann said...

Interesting how the graves are set so close to the building.

I have the same problem as you. I have been googling the location and history of a lot of my old shots so that I can use them for this meme.

La Principessa Errante said...

I love cemeteries, I really can not pass one without going in and admiring the art work that others call tombstones. This place looks so gorgeous, and well maintained. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

FrankandMary said...

I am cemetery fan, but that always sounds horrid...horrid, but true.
~Mary

hamilton said...

I haven't been to Europe, but I imagine that these raised graves are more common over there. I certainly don't see them here. As a result many headstones start falling over in the grassed hills.

Vicki/Jake said...

Awww yes, from one Tapophile to another...I'll drool over all of your photo's in this meme! Nothing ghoulish about that:)

Vicki/Jake said...

Ok, so I spelled that wrong....
TapHophiles are a very calm, relaxing, soothing, art loving species:)

Andrea said...

Wow, that's a new phile term, and something to know you better, a nice inclination for a pastlife reading, haha! I didn't know there are people who love cemeteries. And if you didn't put Croatia's map, i will not know where those places are. Fascinating, now i will try to locate the very few cemeteries I've been to.

Julie said...

What a gorgeous place in which to spend eternity, Francisca. The fresh flowers is a lovely sign that at least someone still cares, and still remembers. For me, this is what taphophilia is essentially about.

The difference in attitude between you and you b.father is, maybe, not surprising. It could also be a generational thing. My father could not stand to be reminded of his own impending death.

I am glad that you (and Ann!) are hunting through and fleshing out (sorry) other images on your hard drives. It is an engrossing hobby, being a taphophile.

I thank you for your contribution to Taphophile Tragics.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

This looks like it could be in Italy. I'm impressed by the size and weight of the stone slabs and the bolts used presumably to keep them in place.

Joan Elizabeth said...

All that cement without grass. I am glad there are some flowers to soften the scene.

diane b said...

What an exotic place to be moseying around a cemetery. They have a nice resting place and the fresh flowers showing they are not forgotten.

jabblog said...

Graveyards are peaceful, calm places. They raise more questions than they answer, though.
(You asked if my son and his family enjoyed Cavtat. They did,very much. I think they may return.

Kaori said...

This is a really fascinating meme! The location is really peaceful and I like how it's surrounded by so much green trees. Must have a great view as well.

Traveling Hawk said...

Cavtat is a wonderful little town. Some years ago I spent one week in Plat, near Cavtat, and went to Cavtat frequently. The cemetery there, up on the hill, is also interesting. There is a mausoleum there, built for a rich and important local family by Mestrovic, a renowned (at least in Europe) Croatian sculptor. It is built in Art Nouveau style. Have you been there? You may see it here: http://travelinghawk.blogspot.com/search/label/Croatia

jennyfreckles said...

You'll have noted from my blog that I like cemeteries too (perhaps because my childhood home was next to one and it was my lovely wild playground). I can see I might join this meme one day...

Red Nomad OZ said...

How interesting that you and your father are so different in this respect! I'm glad though - this is a fascinating spot, from an age that seems impossibly ancient to this downunder Aussie!

Rae Walter said...

Fascinating post Francisca.

JM said...

Wonderful entry on the meme.