Artists Necropolis (Künstler-Nekropole) – Kassel, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Artists Necropolis (Künstler-Nekropole)

At this cemetery, artists are invited to design their own gravestones. 


There’s an eerie, though peaceful air to this sculpture park. Though it first looks like a secluded array of public art, it actually doubles as a cemetery.

The Artists Necropolis (Künstler-Nekropole) is located in Germany’s Habichtswald Nature Park, near the Blue Lake, at the western city limits of Kassel. Here, artists were (and still are, as the project is ongoing) invited to design their own gravestones. When their time on Earth is up, their ashes will be buried beneath their unique creations.

The unusual cemetery was the idea of Harry Kramer. He envisioned the project as a form of public art. Though Kramer died in 1997, the project is still ongoing. It’s financed by a foundation born from Kramer’s own private fortune.

Space for 40 artistic tombstones has been planned. Currently, there are fewer than a dozen erected at the site. Each piece of art is eye-catching, yet somehow still seems to blend into the environment. Some of the sculptures already tower over the ashes of their creators.

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