WANDERING: MONTJUIC CEMETERY


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I'm usually most awestruck by natural wonders -- I can see how cathedrals and big bridges are impressive, and I'm yet to see the pyramids or the Taj Mahal, so maybe I'll change my tune then, but usually I'll take a waterfall over a church, the ocean over an historic building. 

Montjuïc Cemetery in Barcelona might just be the exception to that -- we passed it on the drive in from the airport, on our first day in the city, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's almost incomprehensible how many families and individuals are emotionally tied to that steep mountainside overlooking the port. 

It's terrace upon terrace of the dead, but more importantly -- and less morbidly -- it's a huge monument to remembering the lives of loved ones, to enshrining the sacredness of life and everything that happens within it, and to pushing back the curtain for a few more years while people still visit the past, the lost love, while they still bring flowers and icons and wipe away the dust and soot. 

Mostly, it's the kind of place that makes you realise how awesome some man-made monuments can be, but it also illuminates the futile and naive frustrations that drive humans to make beautiful things.

 Even if we can't properly comprehend mortality and loss, at least we can make a damn good shrine to it.