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Cemeteries and Other Burial Sites

History of the Berlin Cemetery System

Detail grave border (trellis)

Human beings are the only creatures which bury their dead and take leave of them by means of ritualized procedures.

Such burial rites have always been customs associated with belief, which manifest the desire to care for the deceased even after death. They are dependent on the respective social, economic, technological and political circumstances, and therefore subject to continuous change. The social views of an era are reflected in its burial culture, with a certain time lag.

Since burial rites leave a greater or lesser amount of evidence behind, they pass on the respective culture with its ethical views and values, and give information about the artistic and craft skills of their time to posterity. In this respect, Berlin's historic cemeteries, with their multiplicity of cultural elements, are part of the artistic heritage of our city, for they give present-day generations access to their own history and to the respective burial cultures of bygone times.

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