Destinations Magazine

Old South Cemetery Photos at Twilight

By Expatgermany @Laurel_Robbins

Twilight was upon us.  I felt a shiver even though it wasn’t cold as I entered the eerily light pathway to Old South Cemetery in Munich.  The cemetery gates were locked, but I caught a glimpse of the back-lit graves that laid behind the gates.  This was by far the creepiest Saturday night I’d ever had and I hadn’t even entered the cemetery yet!
cemetery photos grave yard entranceWe waited with anticipation and we were not alone.  Instead of finding comfort in the presence of others,  I wondered what the story was with all these weirdos who would spend a Saturday night at a cemetery.  J.P. reminded me that I would need to include myself among those weirdos since I was also there.  I reconsidered.  On second thought, most people did look surprisingly normal – with the exception of one rather gothic looking man with long dark hair whose eyes seem to bore into me.  I quickly moved away, using the presence of other people as my shield.

cemetery photos grave yard entrance 1

The eerily lit entrance to the Old South Cemetery

After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only 10 minutes we were let in and lead to the lapidarium (a place where stone monuments of archaelogical interest are displayed).  Unlike the Stuttgart Lapidarium, which I found quite peaceful with birds chirping, this one felt cold and mysterious.  My inclination was to get the heck out there, but we stayed and waited.

cemetery photos lapidarium

The Lapdidarium displaying precious scultures and busts at the Old South Cemetery.

Waited for what?  For the film to begin about the Old South Cemetery’s history which dates back to 1563 and was being shown as part of the Die Lange Nacht der Münchner Museem (Long Night of the Munich Museums), an annual event where ~90 of the city’s museums, cultural attractions and art galleries are open from 7:00 pm – 2:00 am, often featuring special events such as this one.  Normally the Lapidarium is only open once a month and just in the daytime, so this was a special treat as was the spooky atmosphere and back-lit graves created just for the event.

cemetery photos graves

Back lit graves at the Old South Cemetery sent shivers down my spine.

cemetery photos grave
I began to relax as I watched the film (in German) and learned that the Old South Cemetery was founded in 1563 as a place to bury the plague victims and is the resting place for many prominent Munich residents ranging from statesmen, to painters to philosophers.  At the time, the cemetery was well outside Munich’s walls, although today it’s rather centrally located.  My feeling of relaxation quickly left  as I exited the Lapidarium and saw a sign labeling the building as  “Die Aussegnungshalle”.  Not being familar with this word, I asked J.P. if it was another word for “Lapidarium”.  It wasn’t.  “Die Aussegnungshalle” is German for ” funeral parlor”. The building I had watched the film in was an old funeral parlor  that had been converted into a Lapidarium. It was time to leave and now!

The Old South Cemetery (Alten Südfriedhof) is open daily although the Lapidarium is usually only open once a month and is located onThalkirchner Str. 17


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