Everyone has visited at least one cemetery even it it is only because a relative is buried there, but not all cemeteries are the same. Homewood and Allegheny Cemeteries, both in the Pittsburgh area, are unique cemeteries referred to as "Victorian Garden Cemeteries". This type of cemetery was created during the 19th century as a place to permanently bury loved ones outside the city limits rather than in the over-crowded church yards within the city. Winding paths were laid out and a variety of trees, scrubs and flowers were planted to add beauty. People were encouraged to erect monuments, mausoleums and rod iron benches in family burial plots. Victorian families believed that your status in society was reflected by how much money was spent on their wedding and funeral ceremonies. Homewood and Allegheny cemeteries are excellent samples of this type of cemetery. Visitors can spend days roaming the paths and observing the mausoleums that resemble Greek, Roman and Egyptian buildings, the monuments of individuals, angels, little children, lambs, etc. and the many symbols associated with death. You can observe squirrels and a variety of birds, a wide variety of flora and fauna and mass plantings of seasonal flowers. Either cemetery is an ideal place to relax, walk or jog and get away from the day's stress. Allegheny Cemetery is one of the oldest of the US Garden Cemeteries and is the eternal resting place of numerous famous Pittsburghers who you may only know by the name of a street, building or product. America's first professional composer, Stephen Foster, slumbers with his parents within its grounds.
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