My family and I were lucky enough to spend a week in Budapest, Hungary recently. The place is a real treat for photographers. Beautiful buildings, beautiful people, historic landmarks and all the hustle and bustle of a major European Capital. We spent most of our days walking the busy streets, soaking in the vibe, enjoying a beverage at one of the many terraces, people watching and exploring.
The city has a strange charm about it. Many of the buildings are a little run-down, like an ageing starlet starting to have her beauty give way to experience. But – the cracks, the disrepair, the age-spots only seem to add to the charm. It feels romantic and beguiling. All that being said, the place is busy.
Here’s our tip to take a break from the crowds and still soak up a unique experience, seeing a side of Budapest that isn’t teeming with tourists – in fact, I don’t recall seeing a single one even though we walked for over an hour. The Kerepesi Cemetery is a fantastic, sombre and interesting quiet spot in Budapest.
Opened over 150 years ago, the place is teeming with sculptures and tombstones of all types imaginable. From huge mausoleums to a simple wooden cross, the place holds folks from all walks of life. I’m not up on my Hungarian history so I can’t say who lies there but judging by how they are remembered, many must have been very much beloved. You will no doubt experience some moments of sadness and moments of reflection. Enjoy your time with those from another era and take some cool photos before heading back into the throngs of tourists.
Here are some images that I took, hoping to give you an idea of the variety of things to quietly behold.
The works that represent those buried here go from the magnificent, like this beautiful, vibrant work of art. To a simple cross lying in the weeds.
A good part of the cemetery has been left to grow over with vines & weeds. I’m guessing they simply don’t have the budget to maintain such a vast area. For the visitor, though, it creates yet another area where you can quietly ponder your own life and future. Once a hundred years pass, what will be left of your legacy?
There are so many monuments that cover the gamut, from very sad, to bold/regal, to whimsical. And of course creepy, let’s not forget creepy.
There are many buildings scattered around the cemetery as well, like this Arcade.
About the only tourists to be found were members of my family. The only folks we noticed in the whole place were a few relatives placing some flowers.
There are also a couple Communist era sections. One being an impressive grouping of structures, mausoleums I suppose, with a grand Cold War era sculpture looking them over. The other is a Soviet section, row after row of small gravestones. Very militaristic.
To wrap up, a silent soldier, long forgotten. My takeaway from a sombre, thoughtful, peaceful walk through history…who will remember us way down the long road of time?