From children to adults, we have what many may term an unholy fascination with the dead and their final resting places. From Agra, India, where creating a memorial is an art form to ancient Egypt when a burial crypt could be worth millions and take years to finish, people are constantly curious about the ways that we celebrate and commemorate the passing of individuals. Here are a few of the most famous burial vault sites in the world.
Perhaps one of the most famous and well-visited resting places in the world, Westminster Abbey is the stunning gothic church in London and was established around the tenth century. Used for both the coronation and resting place of monarchs, the abbey marks the location of the remains of Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Darwin and any number of monks, aristocrats and kings.
Egyptian Resting Places
While you have almost certainly heard of the pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx dating back to 2560 BC, are you familiar with the Valley of the Kings? The pyramids at Giza is composed of blocks weighing up to 1.5 tons each with granite blocks in the roof of the burial chamber weighing in at a whopping 80 tons. The world is still not sure how this amazing feat of engineering was completed using tools of the time, and with a margin of error of less than 3 inches across the nearly 800-foot wide base.
The Valley of the Kings is the final resting place of King Tut, dripping with gold and valuable items stored within his tomb as well as a treasure trove of historical drawings and hieroglyphics on the walls.
China’s Terracotta Army
Ancient Chinese legend dictates that when the First Emporer Qin Shi Huangdi passed into the afterlife, he would need an army at his disposal to help ensure his continued rule. Apparently, his followers were quite convinced, as they hand-crafted around 8,000 life-sized terracotta soldiers and placed them in his burial vault–each with unique facial features and stance–to shepherd the Emperor on his quest for continued rule of the lands.
The Taj Mahal
The Agra, India burial site was created in 1631 by Emporer Shah Jahan upon the death of his beloved wife during childbirth. This architectural wonder is replete with precious stones, gilding, and is strikingly symmetrical in design. Marble reigns throughout the building, and the elaborate tombs are still a wonder to behold.
While it’s unlikely that anyone is going to build another massive structure such as these historical treasures, there are still ways that you can commemorate loved ones with a burial vault that is customized for their personality and preferences.
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