One of the great landmarks in Prague is the Olšanské hřbitovy graveyard in Praha 3. It boasts a million people buried within its borders though there were not as many gravestones, suggesting some mass graves perhaps, which I confess I did not see. Heroes and martyrs of the Prague Spring are buried here. It also has its own police station within its fences which is impressive.
Walking around the dark, worn paths even on a bright day feels like walking through a succession of Black Sabbath album covers. It is a fantastic, beautiful, serene, sad and spooky world in the shade of massive Brothers Grimm trees.
Olšanské hřbitovy is in a busy, gentrified part of Praha 3 with traffic and bustle and noise and light. Step inside the gates and the world becomes muffled, dark and furtive and you will feel the need in the back of your head to mark your path so that you can safely find your way out.
As much as I tried, I did not produce successful work there, as perhaps it is one of those places that does lend itself to be easily captured. Here are some of those images. Go there. Take the A line Metro to the Flora station and it is right next to the Palac Flora shopping mall.
This woman was distributing walnuts around the graveyard, placing them on key headstones and grave markers. It was mid-October and the winter was on its way and could already be tasted on the air. She was concerned about the squirrels that lived in the graveyard and wanted to insure that they had enough to eat before the snows came.
She was a marvel. There was a little trough between the walkway and these particular headstones and she could not reach them because of her cane and roller cart. So myself and these two other visitors assisted. She and I talked for a while though my Czech was extremely limited and her English was good, but she kept slipping into French anyways. She told me about her son, whom she had buried years ago though not in this graveyard.