In December I visited Wroclaw for Christmas. I decided to pay a visit to the Jewish Cemetery, because it is old, grand, and in ruins. After the events of the Holocaust there was no-one to take care of the Cemetery, and it fell into ruin. Today it is a museum and you can pay a small fee to go in and walk around, take pictures, etc. It receives only minimum maintenance – as the derelict state of the cemetery is considered to be part of the memorial to the Jews of Wroclaw. I went two days after Christmas… it was cloudy, cold, and nearly empty – I only had to share the large cemetery with a British couple (they still managed to get in the way of some of my photos, however). Many of the fancy tombs are falling apart, and some areas are so overgrown that you can’t even see the stones, just lumps under the ivy.
All Saints Day (Nov. 1) varies from country to country. Here businesses close and everyone goes to the cemetery and spends much of the day visiting graves, tidying the grave, and placing flowers and candles for the departed. All the Catholic cemeteries, which are much much bigger, are a bus ride away, so I found a smaller, “Evangelical” (historically Lutheran) one only a few walking minutes from our home, and made my flatmates take me there on their way to a bar that night. At first we couldn’t figure out where the entrance was, then we finally got inside and walked around a bit. All of the graves were lite, except the very old historical section. It was very lovely and of course a bit creepy. 🙂