For some people the fascination with their idol continues even after their hero is dead and buried. For others the opportunity to see a spot associated with someone well known is appealing. Whatever the motivation, many of the graves of the famous and sometimes infamous have become tourist attractions. Spanning many fields of endeavours, the most popular places of rest are an eclectic mix.
Well written epitaphs
Many people like to bury themselves in a good book. It is not a surprise therefore that the burial plots of some of the world’s most beloved writers are also highly sought after.
Renowned author, poet and wit Oscar Wilde was originally buried in the Cimetiere de Bagneux outside Paris but his remains were then disinterred to PPre Lachaisse Cemetery inside the city. Wilde’s tomb was designed by the controversial sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein and is considered a significant piece of art in its own right.
It was Samuel L. Clemens better known as Mark Twain who once said “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. The popularity of his final resting place has not been. At the Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York the Superintendent of the cemetery estimates that between 2,000 to 3,000 visitors come each year to see Mark Twain’s grave.
Rock of ages
With music being the defining sound track to the lives of countless people, the graves of iconic musicians are often site of pilgrimage.
A grave that regularly receives a lot of visitors is that of rock legend Jim Morrison. Buried in the same cemetery as Oscar Wilde, the singer’s gravestone has been emblazoned with tributes and mementoes from dedicated fans over the years.
Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra has “the best is yet to come” carved into his gravestone in Desert Memorial Park California. Sinatra has what he considered his life insurance packed inside the casket with him, a bottle of Jack Daniels.
With their iconic roles forever captured on screen and in the minds and hearts of fans, the graves of famous film stars have special significance to many.
Tragic screen star Marilyn Monroe is interred in a crypt in the Corridor of Memories at the Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles. In a bittersweet gesture worthy of a scene in a Hollywood movie her former husband baseball star Joe DiMaggio had red roses placed in the vase attached to the crypt for 20 years.
Martial arts guru and action film star Bruce Lee whose life was cut tragically short is buried in Seattle’s Lakeview Cemetery. Diehard fanscome from all over the world to pay tribute to the master.
In life and in death, these well-known personalities continue to fascinate. The amount of interest that their grave sites generate shows the impact their lives had. To remember, to be inspired, to reflect or just out of curiosity, the reasons for visiting are as diverse as the personalities themselves. By each visit to their place of remembrance it is ensured that their legacy will never truly die.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, who is currently working with Switch.