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No cheap frights from Cheapflights this Halloween

October 26, 2013 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Halloween usually prompts stories about spooky holidays and terrifying traditions.
But this year, the team at Cheapflights.com.au is swapping the ghoulish for the grand and has scoured the globe for captivating ceremonies with tales of famous residents, rich history and beautiful surroundings.

Here are Cheapflight’s picks for the top 10 fascinating gravesites from around the world.

With cheap flights from a range of providers across the web you can be assured you won’t get a fright when you weigh up the value of the deals at www.cheapflights.com.au.

Merry Cemetery, Maramures, Romania 
Going against almost everything you’d expect a graveyard to be, the Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel in Romanian) in the village of Sapanța, Romania, is a place of colour and quirkiness.  Just four kilometres south of the Ukrainian border, Merry Cemetery has become a popular attraction thanks to its colourful “folk art” style tombstones with blue wooden crosses.

Titanic Grave Site, Fairview Cemetery, Nova Scotia, Canada
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At first glance, the Fairview Cemetery in Halifax Nova Scotia, looks like your average grave site, but it is the final resting place for 121 victims of the RMS Titanic.  Tragically, a third of the victims buried at Fairview were never identified – and their graves simply show the date of death and marker number.

Mafia Graves, Yekaterinburg, Russia
In Russia it would seem showing off with bling and swag is not restricted to the living.  The graveyards of Yekaterinburg, Russia, feature criminal gang members immortalised with life-sized grandiose marble carvings. Gang bosses are shown dressed in expensive suits and gangsters are pictured holding keys to luxury cars. One fellow went so far as to have a separate grave for his car!  During the 1990s, Yekaterinburg was a centre of organized crime in Russia with two rival gangs, the Uralmash and the Centralniy, fighting for control of the city.  The Uralmash buried their dead in the city’s northern cemetery and Centralniy in the west.

Isle of the Dead, Tasmania, Australia 
An important site in Australia’s colonial history, Port Arthur first started life as a timber station before it became famous as a penal colony for the most hardened convicts.   Between 1833 and 1877, around 1,000 burials took place on the island, in the harbor at Port Arthur. Convicts were forbidden from having headstones and were buried in unmarked graves on the lower south-east of the island. Workers and their families were given the dignity of a headstone and were buried higher up on the island.  As time went on, the ban on prisoner headstones was relaxed and the first convict gravestone appeared in 1854.  Tours to the Isle of the Dead take place several times a day at Port Arthur.

Hanging coffins, Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines
For centuries the indigenous Igorot people of Sagada in The Philippines practised a unique burial process – hanging coffins from cliffs and caves, as a way to bring the deceased closer to heaven.  The hand-carved wooden coffins, of people who met the strict criteria of being married with grandchildren, are carried through the dense jungle then suspended on ropes and wires. The coffins are often stacked on top of one another.  The hanging coffins are now a popular attraction and you can visit these cemeteries in Echo Valley and Lumiang Cave.

Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
The Shah-i-Zinda (the Living King) necropolis in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, was formed over nine centuries and today includes more than 20 ornate buildings and mausoleums featuring some of the most exquisite tile work on earth.  The site, which is more than 1000 years old, is believed to be the resting place of the Prophet Muhammed’s cousin, Kusam ibn Abbas, who brought the Islamic religion to the area in the seventh century.  The earliest buildings on the site date back to the 11th century, with the majority of the works completed in the 14th and 15th centuries.  As an important place of pilgrimage, visitors to Shah-i-Zinda should be respectful to worshippers and dress conservatively.

Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt 
This dusty valley near the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes (modern Luxor) hides a beautiful piece of history.  For nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th centuries BC, Egypt’s Pharaohs and powerful nobles were laid to rest in the Valley of the Kings in a series of complex, and richly-decorated, underground tombs. Some of the most well-known burials on the site are Ramesses II, Queen Hatshepsut, and, of course, Tutankhamun.  While grave robbers looted many tombs, the thieves left the real treasure untouched – the brilliantly elaborate wall paintings.

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA 
Established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, Arlington National cemetery is the burial site for more than 40,000 US service members and their families, with rows of white tombstones stretched over 624 acres.  The cemetery is divided into 70 sections including one for nurses, another for those killed in the Global War on Terror and a third called Chaplains Hill.  The grave of John F Kennedy, who is buried with his wife, Jacqueline, and two of their children, is one of the most visited in Arlington. The grave is marked with an eternal flame and lies near the graves of his brothers Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy.  The “Tomb of the Unknowns” is one of the most moving memorials at Arlington. The Tomb has been under non-stop guard since July 2, 1937, and the Changing of the Guard ceremony always attracts a crowd.

Highgate Cemetery, London United Kingdom Possibly the most visited and well-known graveyard in the world, Highgate Cemetery in North London is a popular attraction thanks to its natural beauty, haunting grave markers and famous occupants.  Opened in 1839, approximately 170,000 people are buried in Highgate’s East and West Cemeteries.  As of March 2013, visitors can only access the West Cemetery by guided tour. The East Cemetery remains self-guided. The West Cemetery is home to the most impressive architectural features of Highgate Cemetery including the Chapel, Egyptian Avenue, Circle of Lebanon, Terrace Catacombs and the mausoleum of Julius Beer.

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris France Like Highgate Cemetery in London, Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) is notable for its setting and as the final resting place of many important French and international figures. Opened in 1804, more than a million bodies are buried in its grounds. Among the most famous are Frédéric Chopin, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust.
If people wish to rest in peace with this exclusive set of neighbours, they must either die in the French capital or have lived there. Today, each gravesite is given a 30-year lease, which, if not renewed by the family, is given up to a new owner. Remains are then sent to the cemetery’s Aux Morts ossuary.

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