Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Braamfontein Cemetery - The Grand Dame

Braamfontein Cemetery is considered the grand dame of all the Johannesburg cemeteries of which there are 32.  Originally the first cemetery was in Johannesburg, the corner of Bree and Harrison Streets, but it became overrun as the city grew.   In 1887 ground was obtained in Braamfontein and the bodies were exhumed and re-buried in the new cemetery in 1888 along with new burials.
There are graves from both World Wars, the Anglo Boer War, various uprisings, the Foster Gang (1914), the author of our national anthem, Enoch Sontonga ('Nkosi Sikele iAfrica') and even a survivor from the Titanic.
Incredible attention to detail. Born Sept 6, 1833 - Died Aug 14, 1894.
The Dynamite Explosion Memorial  On the 19 February 1896, 71 people died as a result of an explosion at the Braamfontein Station.
 The Coffin Rest, after passing the Dynamite Explosion Memorial.
We have always wanted to visit this cemetery.  Looking through the fence while passing, we have been intrigued by it's mysterious beauty but have always been in too much of a hurry.  On this particular rainy afternoon we were in the area and decided to take a closer look.  
When entering you have to sign the register but as they closed at 5pm we only had about 20 minutes to look around.  The rain had paused so we took the opportunity to take some pictures.  All of a sudden it began to come down again so we rushed back to the car and from inside took some of the above pictures, the mottled fogging-up windscreen only adding to the atmosphere! 
Merle.  Canon 5D Mk2.  Canon 100-400mm L and 28-80mm L.