Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bonaventure Mausoleums

Mausoleums have been in existence for over 3,000 years.  The Taj Mahal, originally constructed as a mausoleum, is the most extraordinary mausoleum in the world.  Bonaventure Cemetery is located in Savannah, Georgia and is a former plantation whose name means good fortune.  Most people are aware of this cemetery due to its prominence in the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Taphophiles and cemetery explorers know Bonaventure because it is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in America.  Large live oak trees swathed in Spanish moss fill the cemetery giving it that quintessential southern feel.

I made my first visit to Bonaventure last month and was mesmerized.  Sharing all that Bonaventure offers would take a really long blog posting, so for this first one featuring Bonaventure I want to focus on the fabulous mausoleums that dot the landscape throughout the cemetery.  This mausoleum belongs to John Ernst.  The doors are adorned with wreaths, which commonly symbolize victory.  The size of the mausoleum indicates that the Ernst family was well to do.
 This next mausoleum belongs to the Schroder family and is made from an exquisite white marble and is accentuated by what many of the family plots at Bonaventure feature: a distinctive border with a name plate representing an invisible doorway.  What I loved about this mausoleum was a characteristic shared by a couple of other mausoleums and that is an open front with a large stain glassed window in the back of the vault.
 This is the stain glass window found in the Schroder mausoleum:
 This is an incredibly unique mausoleum built in memory of John D. Moncin and has members of the Blodcett-Moncin-Stoddard families interred inside.  The vault seems to be trying to emulate the shape of a pyramid.  At the top is a carving with wings.  I’m not sure what the center circular shape symbolizes, but wings generally symbolize flight of the soul.
 This granite Greek revival style Mausoleum belongs to the Herman family.  It immediately reminds one of the Greek architecture found in Washington, D.C. at the Supreme Court building and of course at the Parthenon in Greece.
 Inside this Mausoleum one can find another beautiful stain glassed window:
Bonaventure Cemetery has some of the most beautiful mausoleums in America.  There are not many of them in Bonaventure as compared to the amount of acreage upon which the cemetery is housed, but they leave an indelible mark on the landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment