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Historical development of cemeteries

The Christian churches started to establish cemeteries within or around their church buildings in contrast to older traditions of field of graves outside the settlement boundaries. Christians believed that the obviously close connection to the Church would secure prospects of salvation. As a sign of the religious importance Christian cemeteries were consecrated by their dignitaries. Consequently, a burial in a crypt was a sign of prestige and only important persons were given that privilege. All others were buried in the cemetery attached to the church building. Here, single graves were the exception. Most people found their last rest in consecrated mass graves. People who were excommunicated or had a criminal history were buried outside the city walls in unconsecrated graves. So were people of lower social standing, like actors, beggars and charlatans. In times of high mortality (wars, hunger, plagues) the cemeteries often reached their capacities so that removal of corpses and leaving graves open was necessary. However, the resulting stench and health hazards introduced the trend of establishing cemeteries without religious affiliation and move them outside the city walls. This happend here and there during the Renaissance and became more popular starting in 1750 and became a Prussian law, where no one was to be buried within populated areas.

Here is a list of all cemeteries in Dresden at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Friedh%C3%B6fe_in_Dresden


and a list of Jewish cemeteries in the Freistaat Sachsen

http://www.alemannia-judaica.de/sachsen_friedhoefe.htm



 

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  • This page was last modified on 1 December 2012, at 03:23.
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