Tag Archives: mausoleum

Things to See in Croatia: The Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb Travel Attractions 03 NOV 2016

The Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb, capital and largest city of the Republic of Croatia, is considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world – and thus despite the fact that it is well… a cemetery full of graves and tombstones, it is one of Zagreb’s more interesting (and popular) tourist attractions!

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Established in 1876 at the base of Mt Medvednica, with the main building being designed by Austrian-born architect Hermann Bolle, the Cemetery with its arcades, cupolas and ornate artisan workmanship was finished in 1929.

What makes the Mirogoj Cemetery particularly interesting is that it inters members of all religious groups, meaning that you can stumble across Catholic, Muslim and irreligious graves all next to one another!

Because of this, many notable and famous Croatians have their final resting place here, including the likes of musicians, poets, artists, industrialists, politicians, sportsmen, and even the first president of the Republic of Croatia himself.

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There are also many memorials and monuments within the large, slightly fortified cemetery, a lot of which pay homage to Croatian losses suffered during times of war.

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The grounds of Mirogoj are lush with beautifully composed and established vegetation, which works in synergy with the beautiful works of art and sculpture, as well as the classic architecture, in order to create a visual spectacle of tranquil beauty and history.

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The cemetery also doubles as a public park and as an open art gallery, which obviously then further increase its attractiveness to visitors, both foreign and local alike.

In other words, if the thought of visiting a cemetery as a tourist isn’t too macabre for you, then the Mirogoj is definitely worth the trip if you find yourself in Zagreb.

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(Tickled your fancy? Perhaps then a cheap first class trip to Europe is what you are looking for!)

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Related Link: Mirogoj Cemetery | Wikipedia | Zagreb

Japan 2014 – 03 Zojoji in Tokyo – Jodo-Buddhist Chief Temple (2014-10-02) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 22 OCT 2015

Continuing our trek to Tokyo Tower on foot, we exited the Hamamatsucho business district and entered Shiba (Minato, Tokyo), and in the process stumbled onto what would be my first taste of Japanese religion proper – the Zojoji temple complex that serves as the principle temple of the Chinzei branch of Jodo-shu Buddhism.

DSC07148 sangedatsumon main gate of zojoji buddhist temple in shiba, minato, tokyo, japan

Stepping through the massive wooden Sangedatsumo main gate (the front face of Zojoji and whose name literally means to escape/be delivered from three earthly states of mind – greed, anger and stupidty), one enters this tranquil complex that is made up of a number of striking buildings and amazingly detailed stone statues.

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Originally founded in 1393, Zojoji was only relocated to this current location in 1598 after Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, entered Edo (present-day Tokyo) in 1590 to establish his provincial government. After the start of the Edo Period when the Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan, Zojoji became the family temple of the Tokugawa family and also served as an administrative center to govern the religious studies and activities of Jodo shu.

Although mostly destroyed through the air raids of World War II, many of the building have subsequently been restored, including the impressive Daiden (main hall) and smaller Ankokuden (home of the black Image of Amida Buddha, which was deeply worshiped by Ieyasu Tokugawa).

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This is an active temple and as such is called home by many worshipers, and indeed, a heavy religious air does linger over this historically important place.

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Amongst the fascinating pieces of history is the giant bell Daibonsho, which was completed in 1673 and took as many as seven castings to get right. It has a diameter of 1.76 meters, a height of 3.33 meters and a weight of 15 tons, and is renowned as one of the Big Three Bells of the Edo Period.

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Zojoji is also the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shoguns – the tombs of six Tokugawa Shoguns (as well as resting places for their wives and children), and that of Imperial Princess Kazunomiya (wife of Shogun Iemochi) are all situated and accessible here.

DSC07175 mausoluem of tokugawa shoguns at zojoji buddhist temple in shiba, minato, tokyo, japan

One part of this temple that was particularly hard to walk through was the eerie Garden of Unborn Children, which contains row upon row of child-sized stone statues, each decorated with toys and clothes left behind by the parents remembering their miscarried, aborted or stillborn children.

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Having had our fill of the melancholy attached to this last garden, we grabbed a quick refreshment (truly, Japan is the land of the drinks vending machine), and hit the road once more, edging ever closer to our goal of Tokyo Tower…

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Related Link: Zojoji Buddhist Temple