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.


donna baker said...

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

Gustia said...

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.