The entrance to Higashi Otani Mausoleum in Kyoto, Japan.

Taj Mahal, in Agra, India is the world's most famous and most photographed mausoleum.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah Mausoleum in Karachi, Pakistan.

Habib Bourguiba's mausoleum in Monastir, Tunisia.

Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il's mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The interior of the Spring Valley Mausoleum in Minnesota, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Percival Lowell - Mausoleum 2013 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A mausoleum[1] is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum. A Christian mausoleum sometimes includes a chapel.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The word derives from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (near modern-day Bodrum in Turkey), the grave of King Mausolus, the Persian satrap of Caria, whose large tomb was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Historically, mausolea were, and still may be, large and impressive constructions for a deceased leader or other person of importance. However, smaller mausolea soon became popular with the gentry and nobility in many countries. In the Roman Empire, these were often ranged in necropoles or along roadsides: the via Appia Antica retains the ruins of many private mausolea for miles outside Rome. However, when Christianity became dominant, mausoleums were out of use.[2]

Later, mausolea became particularly popular in Europe and its colonies during the early modern and modern periods. A single mausoleum may be permanently sealed. A mausoleum encloses a burial chamber either wholly above ground or within a burial vault below the superstructure. This contains the body or bodies, probably within sarcophagi or interment niches. Modern mausolea may also act as columbaria (a type of mausoleum for cremated remains) with additional cinerary urn niches. Mausolea may be located in a cemetery, a churchyard or on private land.

In the United States, the term may be used for a burial vault below a larger facility, such as a church. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, for example, has 6,000 sepulchral and cinerary urn spaces for interments in the lower level of the building. It is known as the "crypt mausoleum". In 2010, a woman was discovered to have exhumed her deceased husband and twin sister, and was keeping the remains in her Wyalusing, Pennsylvania home. Authorities advised that the only legal way for her to keep the remains on her premises would be to erect a mausoleum.[3]

Notable mausolea[edit | edit source]

Africa[edit | edit source]

Asia, Eastern, Southern, and South-East[edit | edit source]

Asia, western[edit | edit source]

Europe[edit | edit source]

The Panthéon in Paris

Latin America[edit | edit source]

North America[edit | edit source]

Oceania[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ The plurals mausoleums and mausolea are equally correct in English.
  2. ^ Paul Veyne, in A History of Private Life: I. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, Veyne, ed. (Harvard University Press) 1987:416.
  3. ^ Michael Rubinkam (4 January 2011). "pennsylvania-widow-jean-stevens-builds-vault-could-get-corpses". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  4. ^ al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 63. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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