Monday, July 1, 2013
I love a good necropolis
I've written before about the days I spent with my dad, traveling around the country in a Dodge van during summers in the 1970s. What I don't think I've mentioned is that we loved to stop at old cemeteries and look at the gravestones and mausoleums. We'd read the names and dates inscribed, and speculate about the people whose lives (or deaths) we were glimpsing.
Yesterday Anna, David and I went to Les Alyscamps, a Roman necropolis that was used for 1500 years. From wikipedia:
“Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within the city limits. It was therefore common for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs and mausoleums; the Appian Way outside Rome provides a good example. The Alyscamps was Arles' main burial ground for nearly 1,500 years. It was the final segment of the Aurelian Way leading up to the city gates and was used as a burial ground for well-off citizens, whose memorials ranged from simple sarcophagi to elaborate monuments.”
Anna had a great time climbing and playing on the ruins until we entered the earily dark chapel. It was made especially creepy by some experiments that were being conducted involving pouring fog into the place. That, combined with the noises the resident pigeons were making, was enough for her to tear out of the place vowing never to return!