Woodland cemetery

A woodland cemetery is a cemetery where the original landscape with existing trees has been given much influence on the landscape architecture of the cemetery, and where the graves are fitted in among the trees. A woodland cemetery is designed so that the landscape is given a more prominent position, and grave monuments, chapels and other buildings are given less prominent positions. The trees of the cemetery might originally have been a woodland or a tighter forest where a portion of the trees have been removed, and some of the trees might be planted as well. Among famous woodland cemeteries that became models for other cemeteries of similar design are the Munich Waldfriedhof of 1907 in Germany, often mentioned as the first woodland cemetery, and Skogskyrkogården outside of Stockholm in Sweden which is declared a world heritage site. The Woodlands (Philadelphia), an arboretum which was turned into a Victorian rural cemetery in 1840, is a National Historic Landmark District.

The best-known woodland cemeteries are the large ones constructed by well-known architects; however, there are also several woodland cemeteries in northernmost Sweden that predate both Skogskyrkogården and the German Waldfriedhof style. The woodland cemetery in Karesuando in the northernmost municipality of the country, Kiruna Municipality, was consecrated in 1816.

The avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen is buried in the woodland cemetery overlooking Kürten.

See alsoEdit


  • Constant, Caroline The Woodland Cemetery: Toward a Spiritual Landscape. Byggförlaget 1994, ISBN 91-7988-060-6 esp. chapter 3