Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno: An Open Air Museum

One of the largest cemeteries in Europe: Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno is famous for it’s sculptures. Located in Genoa, Italy, the cemetery has an area of around 2 square miles.

In 1835, the city authorities delegated the design of the cemetery, to the Civil Architect Carlo Barabino. He was well know for designing a layout of Genoa’s city center. Also, he constructed a few public buildings: Academy Palace, Carlo Felice Theater, Mental Hospital and so on. Unfortunately, Barabino was a victim of a cholera epidemic, that took many lives in Genoa. Therefore, the work was completed by his student Giovanni Battista Resasco. So, the cemetery of Staglieno was officially opened in 1851.

The cemetery is an incredible place, with powerful and moving monuments. Almost every layer of Genoese society is represented in Staglieno: from a burial ground, with a tombstone to a family tombs. The sites are grouped, as Jewish, Military, with the terraces of Commonwealth War Graves and children. Though, children’s graves are quite sad. There are an extraordinary statues, with angels, sculls and scenes of families in mourning.

Hundreds of monuments from the 19th and 20th centuries, were created by world renown artists: Lorenzo Orengo, Santo Varni, Giulio Monteverde and Giovanni Scanzi, to name a few.

Throughout its history, the cemetery’s expansion lead to enlargements of the arcades. Today, the cemetery of Staglieno is an open air museum, that allows a visitor to reflect on life and death, while admiring an art.

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