Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review of Fall Photography in a Cemetery

Bellefontaine Cemetery
Bellefontaine Cemetery

On a crisp fall morning in mid October several members of the O'Fallon photography club took a trip out to Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum in St. Louis.  This historic old cemetery was a wonderful place to explore and take photographs.


The Bellefontaine Cemetery has been in operation since 1849 and contains over 160 years of history. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The cemetery contains the graves of many of the men and women who shaped the history and culture of St. Louis.  To find out more about the people who have graves and mausoleums at Bellefontaine you can click on this link to their website. Bellefontaine Cemetery  There are brief life stories of many of the influential people who are in the cemetery as well as a detailed history of the cemetery through the years.  Before the 19th century cemeteries were mostly in church yards.  When Bellefontaine was first started there was a movement to provide peaceful parklike settings for burial places. 


The architecture and art in Bellefontaine Cemetery is truly amazing.  There are many different types of architecture including Classic Revival, Romanesque, Gothic, Egyptian Revival as well as mausoleums and statues with Western influence. The first mausoleum in the photograph below is one that was constructed in 1921 and is an elaborate Gothic Revival style.  The details on it are truly beautiful.  You can't tell from the photo, but when I looked in the front doors I saw beautiful stained glass windows on three walls.
Bellefontaine Cemetery mausoleum
 You can see from the next three photos that there are a wide variety of different styles of mausoleums at the cemetery.
Bellefontaine Cemetery mausoleum photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery mausoleum photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery mausoleum photo by mbgphoto
There were also  many statues throughout the cemetery.  A lot were of angels and crosses were carved into many of the stones.
Bellefontaine Cemetery angel statue photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery photo by mbgphoto
There were beautiful features in the windows of many of the mausoleums.  Above you see a stained glass window and below is a photo I took from inside one of the mausoleums.  I really liked the details on the window.
Bellefontaine Cemetery stained glass window photo by mbgphoto


Bellefontaine is also an arboretum that has over 500 trees and woody shrubs throughout its 314 acres.  These come from over 200 different species and when we visited in mid October some of the leaves had turned and others were still green.  This made for a beautiful mix of colors among the old stone tombstones and mausoleums.
Bellefontaine Cemetery trees photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery tree photo by mbgphoto

Bellefontaine Cemetery photo by mbgphoto

We walked around the cemetery taking photographs for over 2 hours and only saw about 25% of the area.  I'm looking forward to going back and exploring more. It was truly an interesting place.

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  1. What lovely photographs from the cemetery! Gorgeous architecture, too.

  2. Your Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis sounds as historic as our famous Bonaventure Cemetery here in Savannah. I can relate to the interesting architecture and mausoleums as I've seen the ones here. Enjoyed your interesting photographs on this virtual tour of Bellefontaine Cemetery.

  3. Sop many interesting things to do in a cemetery. We have royalty in one of our cemeteries here in the north end of Toronto. One of the princesses of the Czar's family is buried here and everyone who comes to the cemetery ends up at her grave sooner or later. It's interesting history for sure.

  4. Wow! What a beautiful cemetery. Your photos are gorgeous, especially with the fall colored trees. Hard to think of a cemetery as a place of beauty, but you have certainly shared one that is lovely.

  5. beautiful photos - it sounds bizarre but I really do like going through cemeteries and reading the stones and imagining the lives of the people lived. When I was in grade school, one of our religion retreats included walking through a cemetery, and I found it very interesting. I think that's where all the wondering about people's lives started

  6. Such gorgeous photos. I really love wandering around old cemeteries. Thank you for sharing the Bellefontaine with us.


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