Melaten Cemetery in Cologne / Germany

The Melaten Cemetery is the central cemetery of the town of Cologne. The name „Melaten“ comes from the French word „malade“ which has the same meaning as the English „malady“.
It’s history goes back to the 12th century when the area located an asylum for people suffering from leprosy, called „campus leprosi“….
Later, in the Middle Ages the Melaten was used for public executions. The last execution took place in 1797.

The last and lasting use of this place however is the cemetery. And this goes back to Napoleon. Before his occupation of the Rhineland the burials were done within the cities‘ boundaries, i.e.beside or even inside the churches. That became a huge issue because the population increased dramatically and there was simply no space left for the dead. For hygienic reasons cemeteries were banned from being inside the city limits and thus also the Melaten Cemetery was planned, built and finally opened in 1810.

Its planner, Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, was inspired by Pere Lachaise in Paris, which makes Melaten Cemetery one of the first Park Cemeteries in Europe.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply