Photos and Stories behind them – The cemetery, Feldbrunnen

This is part 2 of a five day challenge showing a photo and story

Across the cemetery St. Niklaus towards Feldbrunnen

When you live in a small Swiss village nothing is far away. It is very compact, and we have everything you need: a restaurant, church and a cemetery. Shops – there are none; the last grocery closed 5-6 years ago and no-one bothered to re-open it. We all have refrigerators and the next town is a mere five minute drive or 30 minute walk, so what could possibly be better.

Cemeteries are an occurrence in all Swiss villages and towns. We have the larger local town cemetery along the road, but why go so far when the village has a cemetery, surrounding the local church. The church is on a small rise so if you poise with your camera you have an overall view of part of the cemetery. We have a few well known local residents, but they have the special places reserved around the church on the top of the hill. For those who live their lives almost unnoticed, there is a neat section below the church.

The stones are nicely arranged and are cared for. I often think in Switzerland that the cemetery is the calling card of the village. If you have a neat cemetery, then the village is also organised. Of course, many names on the graves are familiar, but it is perhaps a peculiarity of Switzerland that names become associated with places. If I mention my married name of “Gerber” the comment will immediately be made “from Langnau In Emmental?” and of course I can proudly nod and say yes. The name Gerber occupies about 99% of the names in the Langnau telephone book, so it is not surprising, although I would add there is a tribe of Gerbers originating in the Bernese Overland, but they are not our Gerbers. Some of use even decided to throw out their roots across the pond in a place called America. I don’t even think they were United States at that time.

So back to the village of Feldbrunnen, where I live. The church would be Catholic, but we are all equal eventually and so we have a mixed bunch on the cemetery. I do not have family members here, as they were living in other surrounding villages, but I do have a few neighbours.

I quite appreciate the way the cemetery is designed, with fields and farmland. The white building you see on the right bordered by a tree is the local stables where I often take a photographic journey.

Now and again, when perhaps a new house or apartments are being built, it might be that a few skeletal remains are found of various departed that did not arrive at the cemetery. These originate from the days when the village was just a few farms and not really a village and was also a place for the so-called chopping block or gallows. As it seemed that the victims were criminals and in the eyes of the church at the time, did not really deserve a place in the cemetery, they were buried were they arrived, somewhere in the middle of a field, to be discovered and examined by the archeologists a couple of hundred years later. At least they get a column in the local newspaper.

So the next time you take a walk in the local cemetery, remember, you are surrounded by history.

Photos and Storeis behind them – The Cemetery, Feldbrunnen

18 thoughts on “Photos and Stories behind them – The cemetery, Feldbrunnen

  1. We too have a big, old cemetery in the middle of town. Our town is not as close as yours as we live on the outskirts and not in the town itself. Still, it’s just a short drive … depending on how many slow drivers are in the way. We don’t have a lot of traffic, but we have a LOT of slow drivers. They make Garry crazy.
    —–
    Anyway. Our cemetery is the oldest “think” in town. Maybe there are a couple of houses that are the same age, but it is funny that it looks like they arrived in 1625 and promptly built a cemetery. Everybody has been dying to get in ever since. It has our war dead, from the Revolution (1776), the Civil (uncivil at best) war (1863) and all the wars since. Being such a small town, it isn’t full yet. It’s across from the dam and on a rise above the river.
    —–
    You did a great job with it! Uxbridge is one grocery store and a lumber yard ahead of your town. Everything else, you have to go to one of the nearby small towns. Amongst the 7 towns in the area, we have enough shops for most things. For anything else, there’s Walmart and a mall about 20 miles away. There was a time when I missed all the shopping … now I have Amazon, so I don’t care 🙂

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    • I have Amazon as well, but only for uploading my books and now I will order my new Kindle next week with all mod cons.
      They have just discovered that most of the facts about the little Swiss wars of religion and otherwise were probably not true, but just stories. We have a peaceful village and the only unnamed are those they dig up now and again when constructing something new.
      We have to drive slowly through our village, limit is 30 kilometers per hour if you drive around in the village. On the main road running through the village you are allowed 50 kilometers per hour.

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  2. I like going through old west cemeteries. They are full of stories, mostly maudlin (sad) stories of dead children and you can often see evidence of an epidemic of measles in those old places, a dozen or so children who died in the same winter, a whole story is written right there in the marble markers with baby sheep carved into them. In cemeteries all the spouses are beloved mothers and wives and husbands and fathers. Adult life dramas are underground.

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    • I have visited many cemeteries in Europe and each have their own charm. In the mountain regions you find the mountaineers that did their last climb and in towns like Paris and Vienna, you find the famous and the rich, but all are eventually equal in the cemetery. They are fascinating places.

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  5. In India no one would like to stay or build a house on this kind of place where you find skeletons buried in the past. People believe in ghosts and they will never invest in ghost infested areas….lol Interesting post.

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    • I think in Europe there are skeletons everywhere, but so deep down over the ages, you do not realise it. It is only when they begin building a tall object and have to go deep for the foundations that they appear. They discovered a whole roman settlement near our hospital. When they renovated a restaurant in our local town they found two skeletons just beneath the flooring, probably originating from the time when there was a hospital for plague victims. they were covered with glass and exhibited for a time until the building work began again.

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      • I am startled at the same time wondering What would have been the scene if it was discovered here? The next course of action would be the mass protests and demonstrations on the road against the poor restaurant owner followed by damaging his property.

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