Turkish Cemetery, Marsa, Malta


Malta – Iruhs Cemetry
c.1917

Google Street View.

A piece of land in the Ta’ Sammat area of Marsa was chosen as the new location in 1871. The new cemetery was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz, and it was constructed between 1873 and 1874. Construction took over six months to complete. It was designed by the Maltese architect Emanuele Luigi Galizia, who designed many other buildings in a range of contrasting styles, including the mixed-denomination Ta’ Braxia Cemetery and the Catholic Addolorata Cemetery. The outcome and reception of the later was pertinent for the appointment of Galizia as the architect of the Turkish Military Cemetery. The design for the project was unique in Maltese architecture at that point. Galizia was awarded the Order of the Medjidie by the Ottoman sultan for designing the Turkish cemetery, and thus was made a Knight of that order. At the end of the 19th century the cemetery became a landmark by its own due to its picturesque architecture. On the turn of the 20th century it became an obligation to acquire a permission from the Health Department for each burial within the cemetery for sanitary purposes.

Due to the absence of a mosque at the time, the cemetery was generally used for Friday prayers until the construction of a mosque in Paola. The small mosque at the cemetery was intended to be used for prayers during an occasional burial ceremony, but the building and the courtyard of the cemetery became frequently used as the only public prayer site for Muslims until the early 1970s.
Wikipedia.

Galizia (1830-1906) needs little introduction in the local field of architecture. Apart from his revivalist affinities, this architect is acclaimed for his eclectic creativity which he acquired as his career progressed. Revivals and pseudo-styles were the norm around Europe. Galizia, who was a traveled man, took a great liking to this romantic movement and embodied it in some of his more famous commissions. The Addolorata Cemetery (almost complete by 1869) strategically set upon the Tal-_orr hillside is one such example. It stands as Galizia’s largest and most celebrated undertaking.

Just as civil works were nearing completion on this national necropolis, Galizia was engaged to design a more diminutive burial ground, this time for the Muslim community residing in Malta. His concept for this cemetery exploited the character of the brief he was given, together with his acquired tastes for exotic forms. Galizia went for Oriental-Islamic ornament with its typically intricate qualities. When on tour in England he most likely visited John Nash’s Royal Brighton Pavilion (1815-21). Again, this was a style very much in fashion in Britain and the colonies. Much of this inspiration came from India, back then regarded as the crowning glory of the British Empire.

The rectangular plot set in a relatively flat landscape was also opportune for the use of vertical members such as minarets with onion-shaped finials. As with the Addolorata, Galizia also introduced the use of architectural trees as part of the landscaping, this time for the Muslim setting using ubiquitous palm trees. The carved lace-like perimeter walls are pierced by a lofty, horseshoe arched gateway through which one enters the cemetery. The only rooms present are chambers in which funerary rituals were performed prior to interment.

The constrained geometry of the site seems to have inspired Galizia into designing the orthogonal layout of the burial ground, perhaps more akin with classical grammars. It is here that his inclinations towards a fusion of styles begin to manifest themselves. The result was a symmetrically apportioned garden-like necropolis interspaced with sober horizontal grave slabs and simply engraved tombstones. Galizia’s sensitivity towards landscaping is evident again in the presence of flowerbeds. During the spring the cemetery abounds with blossoms and flowers appropriately recalling the Muslim vision of paradise.
“The Muslim Cemetery at Marsa (1871-74)” in The Architect, (p.24)

Chapel of Bones, Valletta, Malta


Malta – Chapel of Bones
c.1910
Publisher: The Grand Studio

The Nibbia Chapel, located in the present grounds of the Evans Building, was a domed, octagonally-shaped building and is known so after Fra Giorgio Nibbia who was buried there. Its façade consisted of a large portal panel having the main door set within two clustered sets of Doric pilasters on each side. . . . The ossuary popularly known as The Chapel of Bones was a vaulted underground crypt, possibly beneath the Nibbia chapel, but could also have been in close vicinity, and is reputed to be still extant, where bones from a cemetery of those who had died at the Sacra Infermeria were placed in patterns and designs as mural decorations, hence its name. The Latin inscription on the single altar lamented the ephemerity of life and requested prayers for the dead.
Times of Malta

Nibbia Chapel was originally built in 1619 near the Sacra Infermeria cemetery by Fra Giorgio Nibbia, a knight of the Order of St John. Dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, it was intended as a place of prayer for the souls of the deceased patients of the hospital of the Order. In 1730, the original chapel was dismantled to make way for a hospital extension and it was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1731. The new building consisted of an octagonal structure with a dome, pilasters and pediments. More importantly, the chapel included a vaulted underground crypt which served as an ossuary.

When the Sacra Infermeria cemetery was cleared in 1776, its human remains were transferred to the ossuary, but it was only in 1852 that a certain Rev Sacco, then the chaplain of the hospital, had the grand idea of decorating the crypt with pretty patterns formed with human bones. The crypt had one altar on which was inscribed a Latin lament on the ephemerality of life, requesting prayers for the dead. This crypt became known as the Chapel of Bones.
GuideMeMalta.com

The Nibbia Chapel (Maltese: Il-Kappella ta’ Nibbia) was a Roman Catholic chapel in Valletta, Malta, which was dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. It was originally built in 1619 by Fra Giorgio Nibbia, a knight of the Order of St. John, and it was located near a cemetery where deceased patients from the nearby Sacra Infermeria were buried. The chapel was rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1731. In 1852 its crypt was decorated with skeletal human remains taken from the adjacent cemetery, giving rise to the name Chapel of Bones (Maltese: Il-Kappella tal-Għadam). The chapel was heavily damaged by aerial bombardment in 1941, and its ruins were subsequently demolished, leaving only some foundations on the site. However, the crypt might still survive intact.
. . .
The chapel had a vaulted underground crypt which served as an ossuary. Skeletal remains of patients who had died at the Sacra Infermeria were arranged in decorative patterns on the walls, and the crypt therefore became popularly known as the Chapel of Bones. The crypt had one altar, which had a Latin inscription lamenting the ephemerality of life and requesting prayers for the deceased. The exact location of the crypt has been lost, and it could have been either under the chapel itself or in the immediate vicinity.
Wikipedia.

 

Ossuary, Bazeilles, France


BAZEIILES La Crypt-ou <<Ossuaire>>
Se compose de deux de séries de galleries paralleles se faisant face, séparées par un couloir central
Les galleries de droite sont occupées par les Françcais, celles de gauche par les Allemande.
(It consists of two galleries facing each other, separated by a central corridor
The galleries on the right are occupied by the French, those on the left by the Germans.)

Publisher: Suzaine-Pierson, Sedan

Street view (closest view)

Built in 1878 by the State on grounds that it had itself purchased from various parishes and individuals, the Necropolis and Ossuary was completed in 1890. It contains the remains of about 3,000 French and German soldiers.
Nécropole et Ossuaire de Bazeilles

For Germany, it was perhaps the Prussian Wars of Liberation that had the greatest effect upon relationships between soldiers, the army, and the nation.[9] In consequence, it was not republican France but imperial Germany that pushed for a comprehensive project to bury every officer and soldier who had died in the Franco-Prussian War. Article 16 of the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871 set the tone and established the framework for this new development, stating that, ‘The French and German governments reciprocally agree to respect and maintain the tombs of soldiers buried on their respective territories.’ Since most of the dead lay on French soil, the article can be interpreted as having been primarily motivated by concerns for the safety of German graves after the army withdrew from occupation. . . . French obligations under Article 16 of the Treaty of Frankfurt were laid out in the law on military tombs of 4 April 1873. . . . In cases where large numbers of soldiers were interred, the state undertook to construct a vault or ossuary and to erect a funerary monument.
Remembering the Franco-Prussian War Dead: Setting Precedents for the First World War

In the devastated village of Bazeilles, however, the ossuary containing the remains of all those who had died in the battle, including civillians, was designed to produce the opposite effect. Visitors could enter and view for themselves the skeletons of over two thousand victims separated into two piles according to nationality. The resulting effects was devastatingly stark and horrifit. Those who recorded their impressionsdescribed their revulsion at seeing clothing still shrouding some of the bones, a good still in its shoes and fingers still wearing wedding rings.
“Unmentionable Memories of the Franco-Prussian War”, Karine Varley, 2008 in “Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era”, p. 71

You descend into the partially underground crypt, and enter a central hallway. On the left, the German side, you will find several crypts containing grave monuments and memorials. These were erected and built during the German occupation of 1914-1918. When the Germans occupied this part of France in 1914 they were absolutely horrified to discover what the French had done with the remains of these soldiers of 1870. The bodies were not buried but lay stacked, haphazardly, inside the vaults. With their well-known Teutonic thoroughness, the Germans buried their soldiers in the crypt and sealed off the graves with concrete. Fortunately they left the French cellars untouched.

On the right, the French side, the situation is presumably largely as when the human remains were originally placed here. When you look into the crypts from behind the glass, on the left and right of a narrow `path’ you see heaps of body parts mixed together. Because of the climatic conditions here, some body parts are partly mummified. Many of the remains still have fragments of skin attached to them; sometimes a whole arm, including the fingers, are clearly visible. Bones protrude from soldiers’ boots, there are carcasses still with shreds of uniform on them; if you look carefully — much helped by the use of a torch — you can see the horrors of war in a quite extraordinary way, although the effect had been toned down over the passage of time, the remains collecting dust for the past 150 years.
“The Franco-Prussian War, 1870–1871: Touring the Sedan Campaign”, Maarten Otte, 2020, pp. 146

Tomb of Shams ud din Iltutmish, Qutb complex, Delhi


Tomb of Shums-ood-Deen Altumash, Delhi
c.1910

Google Street View

Tomb of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, Qutab Complex (YouTube)

Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a slave of Qutbuddin Aibak. Due to the good education and wide knowledge of the Islamic world, which he acquired during the early days of his adversity, he quickly rose to be the amir- i- shikar and son in law of his master within a decade. In 1206, he held the charge of Badaun as one of the most trusted lieutenants of Aibak. He was manumitted by Aibak long before the latter received such formal manumission, himself. It was done in 1205- 1206 at the instance of Mohammad Ghori who was deeply impressed by the performance of Iltutmish in the campaign against the Khokhars. Iltutmish was not only a soldier but also a man of creative tastes. Often engaged in warfare and happily extended his patronage to the pious and learned. He was further endowed with laudable qualities; he was handsome, intelligent, sagacious and of excellent disposition and manners. He was also just, benevolent, impartial and a zealous warrior.

The hereditary succession of Aram Shah was refused by the Turkish nobility of Delhi, as he was an incompetent and unpopular ruler. Iltutmish was invited from Badaun to assume the leadership of Sultanate. Aram Shah refused to abdicate but was defeated and deposed by Iltutmish in 1211. Iltutmish was the real founder of the Delhi Sultanate. He made Delhi his seat of governance in preference to Lahore and proved to be a strong and capable ruler who enjoyed a long reign of twenty- six years.
HistoryPak.com

The Qutb complex are monuments and buildings from the Delhi Sultanate at Mehrauli in Delhi in India. Construction of the Qutub Minar “victory tower” in the complex, named after the religious figure Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, was begun by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who later became the first Sultan of Delhi of the Mamluk dynasty (Gulam Vansh). It was continued by his successor Iltutmish (a.k.a. Altamash), and finally completed much later by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, a Sultan of Delhi from the Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1412) in 1368 AD.

The tomb of the Delhi Sultanate ruler, Iltutmish, a second Sultan of Delhi (r. 1211–1236 AD), built 1235 CE, is also part of the Qutb Minar Complex in Mehrauli, New Delhi. The central chamber is a 9 mt. sq. and has squinches, suggesting the existence of a dome, which has since collapsed. The main cenotaph, in white marble, is placed on a raised platform in the centre of the chamber. The facade is known for its ornate carving, both at the entrance and the interior walls. The interior west wall has a prayer niche (mihrab) decorated with marble, and a rich amalgamation of Hindu motifs into Islamic architecture, such as bell-and-chain, tassel, lotus, diamond emblems. In 1914, during excavations by Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) Gordon Sanderson, the grave chamber was discovered. From the north of the tomb 20 steps lead down to the actual burial vault.
Wikipedia

The Mausoleum of Shams al-Din Iltutmish (reg. 1211-1236), is located in the northwest corner of the Qutb complex next to Iltutmish’s own extensions to the Qutb Mosque.
The sandstone structure is square, measuring 9.1 meters along each side, with a height of 8.41 m to the base of the (conjectured) dome. It was constructed of new material, not making use of the spolia used in other buildings in the Qutb complex. It has three entrances, on the north, east, and south elevations. The western wall, facing Mecca, houses the mihrab as the central niche of three. The upper chamber, now open to the sky, contains the richly decorated marble cenotaph. Steps on the northern side leading down to the burial chamber below.

ArchNet

Pagodas, Mandalay, Myanmar


Pagodas Mandalay
c.1910

1911 Map of Mandalay

The Sandamuni Pagoda (also Sandamani, because it contains the largest iron Buddha, the “Sandamani”), or Paya, is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and bears a resemblance to the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda because of the large number of slender whitewashed ancillary stupas on the grounds. The pagoda complex was erected on the location of King Mindon’s provisional palace, the “Nan Myey Bon Tha.” which he used until his permanent Royal Palace was completed in the center of the Royal City (now Mandalay Fort). It was built as a memorial to King Mindon’s younger half-brother, statesman, reformer, stimulating personality and confidante, the Crown Prince Kanaung, who had helped him seize power from Pagan Min in 1853. Two of Mindon’s sons, Princes Myingun, (or Myint Kun) and Myin Kon Taing disappointed in being excluded from the succession, launched a palace revolution against their father on June 8, 1866, and assassinated Crown Prince Kanaung and three other princes: Malun, Saku and Pyinsi. The princes were buried on the grounds where they died. The royal residence was demolished the next year as the court was moved to the new Royal Palace. In 1874, King Mindon had the pagoda built near the graves of the Crown Prince and the other members of the royal family who lost their lives in the 1866 coup.
Asian Historical Architecture

Church Yard, Old Town, Isles of Scilly, England


The Churchyard, St Mary’s Scilly
1900s
Publisher: F. Hartmann, 1902-1909

Google Street View (approximate location).

The Anglican church of St Mary was built at Old Town, Isles of Scilly during the 12th century, perhaps around 1130. Re-building was carried out between 1660 and 1667 including the addition of the south aisle, and a west end gallery for soldiers from the Garrison. Further improvements were made in 1743 when the east end was rebuilt. . . . The churchyard of Old Town church serves as the principal cemetery for the island of St Mary’s. Over the centuries countless members of the old Scilly families have been buried here, as have been the crews of numerous ships lost near the Isles.
Wikipedia.

Seik Selim Chisti’s Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


FUTTEPORE SIKRI * Marble Tomb of Seik Selim Chisti.
Published: Bourne & Shepherd, Calcutta, Simla and Bombay

360 Cities: Salim Chisti Tomb, Marble Entrance Hall (interior panorama)

World Monuments: House of Shaikh Salim Chishti

Legend has it, that when Emperor Akbar could not have a child from his wife Jodhabai, he walked barefoot from the Agra Fort to a small village ‘Sikri’ about 45 kilometers away from the city to pray for a son to a Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who was reputed to have great powers. Less than a year later, Jodhabai gave birth to a son and Akbar’s heir, whom Akbar fondly named ‘Salim’ after the saint and a few years later, even shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri, where he built a whole new city which was called ‘Fatehpur’. Sheikh Chishti passed on in the year 1572, when the new city was still under construction and Akbar commissioned a grand marble tomb of the saint to be built in the center of the main courtyard of the city, visible as soon as one entered the ‘Buland Darwaza’, which is the highest gateway in the world.
India Today: Fatehpur Sikri celebrates the 448th Urs of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti

Today, the tomb is a white marble structure raised on a plinth. Its ornamentation and construction are largely inspired by Gujarati tomb architecture, and include Hindu, Jain and Islamic elements. The original building commissioned by Akbar is believed to have been a smaller, red sandstone structure, consisting of today’s inner tomb chamber. Jahangir later introduced the verandah, the southern porch and the extensive marble cladding.
ArchNet

Medici Chapels, Florence, Italy


Firenze – Cappelle Medicee – Sagrestia Nuova – Michelangiolo

Google Street View.

Official Website

The Medici Chapels are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, and built as extensions to Brunelleschi’s 15th-century church, with the purpose of celebrating the Medici family, patrons of the church and Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The Sagrestia Nuova (“New Sacristy”) was designed by Michelangelo. . , ,The Sagrestia Nuova[1] was intended by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici and his cousin Pope Leo X as a mausoleum or mortuary chapel for members of the Medici family. It balances Brunelleschi’s Sagrestia Vecchia, the “Old Sacristy” nestled between the left transept of San Lorenzo, with which it consciously competes, and shares its format of a cubical space surmounted by a dome, of gray pietra serena and whitewashed walls. . . .The Sagrestia Nuova was entered by a discreet entrance in a corner of San Lorenzo’s right transept, now closed. Though it was vaulted over by 1524, the ambitious projects of its sculpture and the intervention of events, such as the temporary exile of the Medici (1527), the death of Giulio, now Pope Clement VII and the permanent departure of Michelangelo for Rome in 1534, meant that Michelangelo never finished it. Though most of the statues had been carved by the time of Michelangelo’s departure, they had not been put in place, being left in disarray across the chapel, and later installed by Niccolò Tribolo in 1545.
Wikipedia.

A corridor leads down to the Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy), a cramped inner chamber that is the real draw of the Medici Chapels, a smorgasbord of Michelangelo: sculpture, architecture, and drawings. Sangallo probably started the chapel, but Michelangelo took over in 1520 to turn it into a final resting place for the Medici, the architecture drawn along cold, hard lines of dark gray pietra serena stone and white plaster and using tricks of perspective in the upper reaches to make the chapel seem airier.

There are basically three groupings of Michelangelo statues here. To the left is the tomb of Lorenzo II, Duke or Urbino (grandson to Lorenzo the Magnificent), looking pensive under his helmet, with his finger to his lips. To the right is the tomb of Giuliano, Duke of Nemours (third son of Lorenzo the Magnificent), with a serpentine neck and a nude-style breastplate modeled on ancient Roman statues. Much more famous (and compelling) than the figures of these undistinguished Medici are the allegorical figures just below them, reclining along the slow curves of the tomb architecture: Day (the male) and Night (female) beneath Giuliano, twisting their nude bodies across from Dawn and Dusk under Lorenzo.
ReidsItaly.com