There are hundreds of tourist guides on famous historical burial grounds in the world. Cemetery tourism becomes more and more popular these days.
Scientists write articles and conduct various researches on the importance of cemeteries as cultural sites. Brooklyn, with all its long history, is not an exception. There are many interesting historical graveyards here. You can find many historical cemeteries in NYC, but we will look at the most famous cemeteries in Brooklyn. Today we will tell you about the history of these places and the people who found their last resting place there. All cemeteries in Brooklyn have their unique stories, but we have chosen the TOP-5 most interesting Christian and Jewish cemeteries in Brooklyn.
The Barkaloo Cemetery
The Barkaloo Cemetery is well-known as the smallest cemetery in Brooklyn. In 1725, Dutch immigrant William Harmans Barkaloo opened this cemetery. Another name of this place is Revolutionary Cemetery. The second name appeared because this cemetery has become an ultimate resting place for several revolutionary war veterans. According to some historians, two of William Barkaloo’s sons took part in the Battle for Brooklyn. The battle itself took place on the territory of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and New Utrecht. However, other historians consider this claim to be spurious. After all, there is no convincing evidence that his sons have been present there during the battle. Because of its limited size and the fact that Barkaloo’s family moved from Brooklyn, the last person was buried here in 1848.
This place is the only family plot in Brooklyn that is not a part of another Christian or Jewish cemetery.
The Green-Wood Cemetery
In 1838, Henry Evelyn Pierrepoint funded this cemetery. Originally it was opened as a rural Christian cemetery in 1838.
In the mid-19th century, New York has become overcrowded because of rapid urbanization. The Green-Wood Cemetery was built to meet the rising need for gravesites. Over the years, it opened its gates for over 600 thousand deceased people. The territory of the cemetery comprises 478 acres of land. It features four glacial kettle ponds and the Battle Hill, which is the highest point in Brooklyn. In the 19th century, this cemetery became a famous tourist destination because of its unique architecture.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Fort Hamilton Parkway Gate and the cemetery Chapel as city landmarks. The famous landscape architect David Bates Douglass handled the initial layout of this Christian cemetery. In 2006, the Green-Wood Cemetery was designated as a National Historic Landmark, and in 1997 this place was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery
This place is the only National Cemetery in New York City. It has become the last resting place for over 21 100 people. It is one of the most famous cemeteries in the US because it has become the last home for 24 Medal of Honor winners. Three of those men were honored twice.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery is very famous for its monuments. The 12-foot granite French Cross monument is one of them. It was erected in memory of 25 French sailors who died on duty during World War I in American waters.
When visiting a cemetery, one will immediately notice a large obelisk. It was created by soldiers and officers who served under the command of Colonel Benjamin Ringgold. Also, there is an oak tree on the territory of this cemetery. It was planted after the assassination of President James A. Garfield in his honor.
Holy Cross Cemetery
At the beginning of the 19th, the number of Catholics in New York started increasing. Pretty soon, this exhausted all available places in Catholic cemeteries in Brooklyn. In 1948, a new Christian cemetery was opened to meet the growing need. The land of the future graveyard was bought from James and Marry Duffy. The first person was buried here in 1849. During the first year of operation, the Holy Cross Cemetery has become a last resting place for over 6,000 people. In 1855, the owners built the Chapel of the Resurrection on the territory of this burial ground. These days the cemetery entails 96 acres and has opened its gates for over 500 thousand people.
There are catacombs beneath the Chapel on the territory of this Christian cemetery. In these catacombs, one can find graves of several of the oldest Catholic families who lived in Brooklyn and the burials of the very first priests of the diocese. The Holy Cross Cemetery has become the ultimate resting place for James Brady (Diamond Jim), Gil Hodges, bank robber Willie Sutton. Many headstones here are made in traditional Hibernian motifs. These monuments carry the records of the history of immigrants who came to Brooklyn from Ireland. The earlier tombstones belong to Hispanic and Italian families who also made Brooklyn their home.
Salem Fields Cemetery
Talking about the most famous cemeteries in NYC, one should devote special attention to Salem Fields Cemetery. This Jewish cemetery was founded in 1852 by Temple Emanuel. The founders of the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation are buried here. This cemetery has become the last place for many Jewish families who moved from Germany to New York. The famous historian Fredric Bedoire compared the Salem Fields to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris because of its beautiful mausoleums and landscape. Henry Fernbach designed the main entrance of the graveyard. Altogether, these are the most famous Jewish cemeteries in NYC.
Indeed, people routinely never visit cemeteries without a good reason. Most frequently, a pretty tragic one. Even though cemeteries bear the emotional pain of thousands of people, they still attract lots of tourists. Historical cemeteries contain a history of those who have found their last resting place there.
As you can see, Brooklyn is not an exception. There are many interesting historical burial places here. It is hard to choose the most famous cemetery in Brooklyn because all these Christian and Jewish cemeteries deserve attention. Each cemetery in Brooklyn has its unique architecture of gateways, monuments, and memorials.