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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lakewood Cemetery

Going to a cemetery to "sightsee" is debatable. It can be seen as disrespectful of those who have gone before us or just plain morbid. In my eyes, seeing gravestones is interesting because it's a piece of history. I like to read the inscriptions and marvel at the age of the stones.

The Lakewood Cemetery is a massive piece of property situated between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. There are stones from the 1800's nestled beside more modern ones. It's easily accessible from Hennepin Avenue, where the main gate is. Biking is prohibited, as is photography. (In lieu of my own photos, I've used some from the Lakewood Cemetery website.)

The first thing that attracted me to this place was the chapel. It's said to be the first piece of Byzantine architecture in the United States. Generally, it's reserved for weddings and funerals, but during business hours, the staff at the Administration Building will be happy to open it for you. I didn't go in it, but from the photos in the downloadable guide, it looks to be unreal.

The Specs:
- Etiquette is VERY important to adhere to. Go to and read the rules before going. I can't stress this enough. It's easy to forget that this isn't just a cool place, but a sacred burial site for many too.
- Parking along the roads is allowed, as long as it's away from open sites or processions.
- The Administration Building, where all kinds of information on Lakewood Cemetery can be found, has different hours than the cemetery grounds itself.

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