Memorializing the dead is a natural part of the bereavement process. It’s how we memorialize that’s different across time and cultures.
Usually, the tributes are a humble gesture of love and respect. Then there are those that have been known to be a little grander.
Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most magnificent tombs.
1. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — Arlington, Virginia
We’ve mentioned Arlington National Cemetery before in a list of amazing cemeteries around the world. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands out for its symbolism of all the unknowns who gave their life for our country throughout various wars.
2. Terracotta Army — Shaanxi, China
Emperor Qin Shi Huang must have been scared of going alone because his tomb is thought to be the largest burial site in the world. It features around 6,000 terracotta funeral sculptures of warriors, chariots, and horses.
3. Taj Mahal — Agra, India
The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was really distraught about the death of his beloved wife. So much so that he commissioned the mausoleum, which now draws more than 3 million visitors a year. The tomb is recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
4. The Tomb of Cyrus — Pasargadae, Iran
The Tomb of the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great might not be much of a looker, especially compared to the ones above. It’s the history behind it that makes it stand out. The tomb is estimated to be more than 2,500 years old and was restored by Alexander the Great, who supposedly idolized the Persian emperor.
5. The Great Pyramid of Giza — El Giza, Egypt
This is how you go out in style. The great pyramid is an iconic tomb. Known officially as the pyramid of Khufu, it’s the largest of the three pyramids of Giza. It’s an awe-inspiring structure, and many theories exist as to how the pyramid was actually constructed.
6. Westminster Abbey — London, England
A perfect — and stunning — example of the gothic architecture that was popular during the middle ages. The abbey has history intrinsically tied with the British monarchy. It’s hosted coronations, royal weddings, but also is the resting place for several kings, queens, and scholars such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
7. Church of the Holy Sepulchre — Jerusalem
The church is an influential holy site for Christianity and draws thousands of visitors on pilgrimages. It’s also known for containing the site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. It was constructed by Constantine the Great in 335 AD, and had a somewhat violent history during the Crusades.
8. Lenin’s Mausoleum — Moscow, Russia
Located in Moscow’s Red Square, the building is a tomb for Vladimir Lenin. The structure is an imposing building reflective of the communist style of architecture. For years, Lenin’s body was on a public display, preserved by an ongoing embalming process.
And Just for Fun: Ben and Jerry’s Flavor graveyard — Waterbury, Vermont
RIP. There is an actual cemetery set aside for the “dearly de-pinted” (discontinued) ice cream flavors made by Ben & Jerry’s. The cemetery is currently the resting place for 31 flavors, from Ethan Almond to This is Nuts. The cemetery also recently gave its first “flavor funeral” to honor their late ice cream.
Have you been to any of these mausoleums or tombs? Share your experience in the comments below!