Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Glasgow Necropolis, Scotland


When our hotel Fraser's staff told us that the Glasgow Necropolis is nearby, they didn't need to tell me twice. It's over my dead body if you try to stop me from visiting a cemetery (or Necropolis). What's there not to like: dead quiet, free of crowd, free admission, interesting architecture, history, and fresh air?

This was one of the cemetery that was built after the completion of the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, which i happened to visit just last week. 2 visits to 2 famous cemeteries in 2 weeks. Yes! I can die a happy man! Well, as super spunk spook James Bond says, "you only live twice."

From the late 17th to early 19th centuries, especially after King Louis 14th, France was the style trendsetter. Today, they still set trend, but in the more limited fashion sphere. Even there, it's limited. It's the américain who are the pacemaker (via mostly Hollywood flicks) from the mid 20th to the early 22nd century (i'm guessing. You just wait and prove me wrong. I don't know about you, i plan to live forever (in 1 form or another). Unrealistic real-estate prices make it too expensive to die in the future).

In those days, the French exerted strong influence in areas from art, fashion, architecture, etc. After the Palace of Versailles was completed, a number of European monarchs would model their palaces after Versailles (e.g. Hermitage in St. Petersburg). When Louis 14th wore his high-heels (ooh la la), other European kings would embrace - sorry, wore - these manly shoes (the high-heels originated from Persia as a symbol of manhood because they were worn by Persian cavalry).

Peer King PRESSURE !

King Louis XIV of France
Louis 14th of France in his macho red 4-inch high-heels.
Nicely compliments with tights and wigs.
Yeah, lift up the royal robe so we can see your best stuff...
Charles II of England
Charles 2nd of England, not to be outdone by the French
in the high-heel department. Never!


So when Père Lachaise Cemetery was completed in Paris in 1804, pressure was on UK.

Peer Kingdom PRESSURE !

Soon after, these "touristy" cemeteries popped up in UK like champignon (French mushroom). These are cemeteries that designed to draw the public visitors to pay tributes to the fave local sons. Like Père Lachaise Cemetery, you'll find memorials and monuments of notable Glaswegian figures.

Glasgow Necropolis was opened in 1832, which was deemed as the start of Victorian Age (not 1837 when Queen Vicky ascended her throne), hence it's considered a Victorian cemetery.

I don't know if it was because of Père Lachaise Cemetery or a Scottish tradition (i suspect the former), this cemetery is elevated to a higher level, physically and figuratively speaking.

In Glasgow or the other Scottish city of Edinburgh, the highest point in the city isn't reserved for churches as you often seen in other European cities (including Paris). This gives a nice aerial view of the surrounding city.

We started our walk from Fraser Suites, getting there via High St.

High St (at the intersection of George and Duke Sts), Glasgow, Scotland, UK
High St (at the intersection of George and Duke Sts) is franked by buildings in Victorian architecture
which litters the Glasgow cityscape.

Glasgow Evangelical Church, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Glasgow Evangelical Church designed by John Honeyman and built in 1878


Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
View of Glasgow Necropolis from the bottom. The hill isn't high, but prominent.
The Monteath Mausoleum stands out on the hill in a 2 tiered rotunda shape.
Built for Major Archibald Douglas Monteath, who served in the East India Company and was buried here in 1842


Entrance, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Entrance marker with a brief description about the Merchants' House of Glasgow, the original builder of this cemetery.
You could say Glasgow is built by the Merchant's House.

Entrance marker, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Entrance gate, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
One of the entrance gate to the cemetery

Below is the photo of the coat of arms of the Merchants' House embedded in the gate above. It shows a clipper in full sail on top of the globe. The Latin motto Toties redeuntis eodem means "So often returning to the same place". I don't think they mean "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." But quite appropriate. You don't read the dead language of Latin? How are you gonna read motto on European coats of arms, U.S.'s one dollar bill, or study law?

Glasgow Coat of Arms, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Details on the entrance gate.

In most cities, you would view the surrounding city from a church that occupies the commanding height (for example, Sacre Coeur in Paris). You don't usually get to view the city's main church at the foot of the hill like this. It's a rare sight.

Aerial View, Glasgow Cathedral and Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Aerial view of Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow Royal Infirmary on the right

Aerial View, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Aerial View, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Aerial View, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Monteath Mausoleaum, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
The Monteath Mausoleum viewed at eye level

Monteath Mausoleaum, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

William Rae Wilson mausoleum, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
William Rae Wilson mausoleum in distinctive Moorish style

Tomb of Duncan Macfarlan, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Tomb of Duncan Macfarlan (1771 - 1851)
Memorial column of John Knot, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Memorial column of John Knot
Tomb of Charles Tennant, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Tomb of Charles Tennant (1768 - 1838)


Aerial view, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Picturesque aerial view awaits you at the top

Aerial view showing Glasgow Evangelical Church and Barony Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
You could see the belfry of Glasgow Evangelical Church in this aerial landscape on the left.
The red building with the steeple on the right is the Barony Hall.

The red building on the bottom right is baronial Cathedral House Hotel. Another Victorian style building.

Glasgow Evangelical Church and Barony Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Street level view of Cathedral House Hotel and  Glasgow Evangelical Church

Bridge of Sighs, Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
"Bridge of Sighs"
This "Bridge of Sighs" is used as the route for funeral processions. This bridge name is an allusion to the famous bridge in Venice. The bridge built over Wishart St, allowing visitors approach (and funeral processions) from Cathedral Square to get across to the cemetery.


statue, Norman Macleod, Cathedral Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
statue, Norman Macleod, Cathedral Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Statue of Dr. Norman Macleod (1783 - 1862) at Cathedral Square





No comments:

Post a Comment