Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Seen but not Heard. Cemetery Portraits


When I'm in Menton, and I'm in the right mood, I like to visit the ancient cemeteries. 

Both the popular Cimetière du Vieux-Chateau and the lesser known Cimetière du Trabuquet have enviable panoramic views from their grand perches high above the town.  I find both to be beautiful in their own way but it's the Cimetiere du Vieux-Chateau where all the tourists go.  Believe it or not, it boasts its own Trip Advisor page, filled with glowing reviews, I might add.  

There's a friendly tabby who frequents the Cimetiere du Vieux-Chateau.  She seems happy to spend her days there like a feline guardian, taking in the sun and, I like to imagine, chasing the occasional mouse.  She probably finds serenity here since it's interdit (forbidden) to bring dogs past the big front gates.  I imagine that visitors, who may have fallen into a contemplative or generous mood, pause to offer her a little scratch.  I know I do.
View from the Cimetiere du Vieux-Chateau

One thing that always fascinates me about French cemeteries is the custom of placing photos of the dearly departed on gravestones and tombs.

At first I thought the practice to be a bit macabre but over the years, my eyes have gradually become accustomed to the portraits and now I see a poignant beauty in them, a way of expressing loyalty and remembrance to loved ones.

It takes courage to look at some of these portraits, especially the ones of children and infants but I thought they were worth sharing.

Would you want your portrait placed on your grave?  I can't decide about mine.





Sweeping sea views from the Cimetiere Trabuquet
Military graves in the Cimetiere Trabuquet







 
 





On April 24, 1952, there were torrential rains in Menton causing a landslide in which brothers Charles and Eugenie Giordan  and their granddaughter Monique Corradi perished.  Charles Giordan's body was found 37 years later, buried one metre deep near his property.



2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place to spend eternity near the sea. I wonder who is left to tend many of those graves.

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    Replies
    1. Some of the graves are very well tended but sadly, many are not. I imagine the younger generation doesn't care or have moved away.

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