“So we go inside and we gravely read the stones / all those people, all those lives / where are they now?” – The Smiths
Graveyards are peculiar places. While it may seem morbid to visit a cemetery with gravestones dating back from the 1700s, it is a strangely beautiful place to be, especially on a summer’s day. Alter Südfriedhof (Old South Cemetery) is Munich’s oldest graveyard and is widely considered as one of the city’s crown jewels.
As you enter through its towering brick walls adorned with ivy, the noise of the traffic somehow dissolves and you are in the midst of a very tranquil, peaceful place. Tall trees, possibly as old as the graveyard’s residents, shield the elaborate stones and the meandering gravel pathways.
It may seem a strange observation to take from a graveyard of all places, but there’s so much life there. From the abundance of greenery – trees, plants, flowers – to chirping birds, squirrels and wildlife. Perhaps no more than anywhere else, but simply more noticeable here.