Highgate Cemetery

Perhaps most famous as the burial spot of Karl Marx, Highgate Cemetery is a historical burial spot on the outskirts of London in Highgate Village. Built as one of the so-called magnificent seven cemeteries meant to relieve the older inner-city cemeteries from London"s growing population, Highgate Cemetery is the most famous of the group. Highgate Cemetery is broken into two halves- a West and an East, and guests will find that both sections are worth a stroll.

Travelers hoping to take a Highgate Cemetery tour should note that while the East section of Highgate Cemetery is open to the public to tour on their own, the West section of the cemetery requires guests to join a guided tour. Tickets for a Highgate Cemetery tour are available for purchase online or over the phone in advance, or at the front office of the cemetery. During the week, Highgate Cemetery tours take place at 2 and 4 p.m. daily, with hourly tours operating on the weekends. Weekend hours are usually between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Guests taking a walk through the East side of the cemetery may want to call in advance; as this section of the cemetery is still used for burials, the cemetery will be closed down for funeral services when applicable.

The history of Highgate Cemetery began in 1839. Highgate Cemetery was one of seven large, more modern cemeteries known as the Magnificent Seven. These cemeteries were built in response to the unsanitary conditions of the inner-city London cemeteries, which were no longer able to deal with the growing population of London. The original Highgate cemetery is the Western section, and Highgate quickly became one of the most popular Victorian burial sites in all of England, as well as one of the most beautiful. Winding paths trail between gravesites, and striking gothic architecture such as the Circle of Lebanon and the stone tunneled entrance to Egyptian Avenue, create a striking contrast to the natural beauty of the surrounding trees and vegetation.

Due to its rapid popularity, the Eastern section of Highgate Cemetery was added in 1854, and the landscape is in keeping with the Western half. The Eastern section of the cemetery is noted as the burial place of Karl Marx, along with other memorable English authors. Douglas Adams was buried in the east cemetery after his death in 2001. Douglas Adams was a native of England, and most widely known for his book, A Hitchhiker"s Guide to the Galaxy. The grave of Douglas Adams is currently unmarked; however, those looking for an impressive headstone need look no further then the massive bust that adorns the grave of Karl Marx.

Though responsibility for the upkeep of Highgate Cemetery has changed hands over the years, the current Highgate Cemetery is remarkable among the Magnificent Seven for its natural beauty and lovely landscaping. The Friends of Highgate Cemetery society currently manages the property and organizes the Highgate Cemetery tours. As one of the more handsome cemeteries in all of England and the United Kingdom, Highgate Cemetery is worth a stop.

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