9 April 2013, 18:30

Famous world burial sites for high-level public figures

Маргарет Тэтчер память цветы смерть

Margaret Thatcher, who died aged 87 after a stroke on Monday, will be buried on April 17. The ceremonial funeral with full military honours will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The VoR invites you to learn more on high level funerals in different countries.

In Moscow, top-ranking politicians and public figures used to be buried in the Kremlin Wall, while in recent years the most popular burial site for outstanding people is the Novodevichy Cemetery. 

Great Britain

Saint Paul’s Cathedral is seat of the Bishop of London and the city’s biggest church. Although the symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion is located in Kent and is known as Canterbury Cathedral, St Paul`s is home to numerous memorials commemorating outstanding politicians, military men, scientists, writers and composers. There one may find the tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson, Duke of Wellington, Lord Kitchener, artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Sir Alexander Fleming, biologist who discovered penicillin. 


German leaders are buried at different cemeteries. For example, Willy Brandt, who was chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1969-1974, was buried at the cemetery at Zehlendorf in Berlin, while one of his predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, who served as chancellor in 1949-1963, lies buried at ZentralfriedhofFriedrichsfeld in eastern Berlin, where all German socialists, including WilhelmLiebknecht, were laid to rest since 1900. 


Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, was buried at the mausoleum on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The Mao Mausoleum was designed like the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow. After his death in 1976 Mao`s body was embalmed and laid in state at the Great Hall of the People. His successors did not, however, approve the idea of creating a necropolis like the Kremlin wall or the Novodevichy cemetery. Deng Xiaoping, who died in 1997, was cremated, and his widow threw his ashes into the sea. Many Chinese Communist leaders as well as scientists were buried at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in western Beijing. In 1996, the ashes of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, were transferred by his widow to the Babaoshan cemetery. 


Any sitting or former President of the United States has the right to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, which homes memorials to military men and astronauts. But this right was used only by the relatives of John Kennedy and William Taft. Almost all other US presidents were buried close to their suburban estates, many of them later turned into museums. George Washington and his wife were buried in Mount Vernon, Virginia, which was their plantation home. Franklin Roosevelt was laid to rest in the Rose Garden near his Springwood estate. Abraham Lincoln`s resting place is at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Illinois. 


The Pantheon is a huge neoclassical building in Paris. It was originally built as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve but now it functions as a mausoleum containing the remains of outstanding French citizens. The list of people interred in the Pantheon features Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Pierre and Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas. Another place to bury prominent French citizens is Les Invalides, a complex of buildings in Paris, where the tomb of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is located. But French presidents were buried in different places: Charles de Gaulle was laid to rest at the Colombey-les-deux-Eglises cemetery where the presidential estate located. 


There are several famous burial sites in Japan, but emperors and the nobility were laid to rest in various places across the country. Even today one can see the tombs to the emperors who ruled Japan in the first millennium. Although the imperial family performs only ceremonial duties, its members still oppose archeological exploration at the burial sites, not just because they want the ancestors` graves to be remain intact but also because DNA tests could have probably reveal the Korean origin of the late Japanese rulers. And this could damage the national identity of the Japanese. Japanese nobility and outstanding politicians were often buried in Buddhist convents. The largest graveyard in the country is Okuno-In on Mount Koya, where you can see both samurai tombs and those of present-day businessmen. It is considered to be a special honor among Nissan or Toyota employees to be buried there even in a common grave.


Margaret Thatcher will have £5million funeral

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher will cost UK budget up to £5million (almost $8 million) and can be compared to Princess Diana’s, the Queen Mother’s and Sir Winston Churchill’s, reports the British newspaper Daily Record.

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, died at the age 87, would receive a ceremonial funeral - one step below a state funeral - with military honours, gun carriage, military procession and a service at St Paul's Cathedral on Thursday next week.

Costs are to be borne by the government, Thatcher's estate and the taxpayers. A No 10 spokesman said the payments from the public purse would be published after the event. They will undoubtedly include the costs of the planned military procession, involving hundreds of members of the armed services, and of the major policing and security operation expected to be mounted.

Thatcher's coffin will be moved to the chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster on the night before the funeral. On the day, the streets will be cleared of traffic and the coffin will be taken by hearse to the church of St Clement Danes, the RAF chapel in the Strand. From there it will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and borne in procession to St Paul's, along a route lined by tri-service military personnel and members of the public who wish to pay tribute.

After the service there will be a private cremation. It is understood Thatcher wished to be laid to rest beside her husband, Denis, who died in 2003, in the cemetery of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Voice of Russia, the Daily Record, the Guardian

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