Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ter Navolging


In the busy beach town of Scheveningen you'll find an unsigned, unpaved alleyway, almost hidden between buildings along a busy street. If you walk up that alley, you'll come to a tiny little oasis called Ter Navolging.

This little oasis is, in fact, the first cemetery in The Netherlands to be built (at that time) outside city limits. In 1778, most people were buried in churchyards, but hygiene and crowding were becoming issues. So this little cemetery was built in the (then) unpopulated dunes outside of The Hague.


It's a simple place; inside the brick courtyard are simple, flat stones. Some of them new, some hundreds of years old, some scoured flat over time. Outside, the walls are ringed with newer graves, and opposite the walls you'll find the tiny markers shown in the theme day post by The Hague Daily Photo.

Incidentally, according to the Wiki post (in dutch), the cemetery was named "for imitation" in the hopes that more cemeteries would be built in this manner (at least that's what I get from my limited translation abilities).

I thank the "theme day" for leading me to this interesting place. It is so hidden that I wouldn't have found it if I hadn't been researching local cemeteries. Now I know a little bit more of local history.

10 comments:

oldmanlincoln said...

It is nice to find hidden treasures in your city. Unfortunately, my search here leads nowhere. Nothing hidden. It is all out where it can be seen.

I like your photography and your post about this cemetery.

deslilas said...

Theme day can lead us to discover interesting thing. This "prototype" of cemetery.
Yesterday I found the grave of the belgian grand-parents of Olivier Messiaen in a very small churchyard of a small village in French Champagne "La Chaise" a dozen kilometers from Brienne le Château.

Mike said...

Looks like a lovely spot. Never found that when I lived in The Hague.

Dick said...

Thanks to your blog I see many things I never heard of before. Nice photo.

bwide said...

Do the large stones indicate burial at shallower depth? Water table issues maybe?

Chris said...

It is interesting, isn't it, what we learn from doing these blogs?

I'm glad you posted this.. .I was wondering if The Netherlands had above-ground cemeteries because of all the water. . . . .Of course, I have no idea how much of the country has canals. . . .

Lapa said...

So manny graves.

R&R in The Netherlands said...

Bwide & Chris, I've also wondered the same thing (whether the fact that so much land here is under sea level affects burials), but as far as I can tell burial is "normal" in the ground. I think the larger stones are/were the tradition, as some modern graves are also marked by these stones.

Lezard said...

Hello R&R,
Thanks for showing the extra photos of Ter Navolging. I am like you, if it had not been for the month's theme, I would have never gone to local cemetaries (I also visited the Kerkhof municipal cemetary, which is also worth a visit by the way). The markers you see on the outside wall are the ones that have been placed to remember people initially buried here but removed (lack of space?)
Gr uit The Hague Dailly Photo.

Neva said...

I never leave home without my camera now in case something leads me down the garden trail!! Interesting little place.