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St. Mary's Churchyard

St. Mary's Churchyard
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Marienkirchhof, Lübeck, Germany, 23552
For six centuries, the Marienkirchhof, or St. Mary's Churchyard, was the parish cemetery. In medieval times, inner-city graveyards were the rule in European towns, and Lübeck was no exception. However, as time passed, people began to understand that it was not a very good idea to bury decaying corpses amidst a crowded city. A cholera epidemic that struck Lübeck in 1832 finally led to total prohibition of burials in the Old Town. The graves were moved to new cemeteries, and efforts were made to beautify the churchyard through gardening. This proved to be huge problem throughout the 19th Century since the results were never considered fully satisfactory. Even worse, a considerable number of forgotten graves repeatedly caused the pavement to sink gradually in different places. Today, the churchyard is fully paved with a few trees located on the northern side. Less impressive but quainter is the southern section, which is paved in cobblestone and surrounded by the old walls of the church, Town Hall and St. Mary's Workhouse. -Oliver Henkel
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