Cenotaph

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The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London UK-2014-London-The Cenotaph.jpg
The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London
The Cenotaph, Auckland, New Zealand CenotaphAucklandWarMemorialMuseum.jpg
The Cenotaph, Auckland, New Zealand
The Cenotaph, Hong Kong Cenotaph, Hong Kong 1.jpg
The Cenotaph, Hong Kong

A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.

Tomb burial place

A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. Placing a corpse into a tomb can be called immurement, and is a method of final disposition, as an alternative to for example cremation or burial.

Monument type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event, or used for that purpose

A monument is a type of—usually three-dimensional—structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction Process of the building or assembling of a building or infrastructure

Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure. Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client. Construction as an industry comprises six to nine percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.

Contents

History and etymology

The English word "cenotaph" derives from the Greek : κενοτάφιονkenotaphion (κενός kenos, meaning "empty", and τάφος taphos, "tomb"). [1]

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Cenotaphs were common in the ancient world, with many built in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and across Northern Europe (in the shape of Neolithic barrows).

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.

The cenotaph in Whitehall, London - designed in 1919 by Sir Edwin Lutyens - influenced the design of many other war memorials in Britain and in the British sectors of the Western Front, as well as those in other Commonwealth nations.

Western Front (World War I) main theatre of war during the First World War

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

The Church of Santa Engrácia, in Lisbon, Portugal, turned into a National Pantheon in 1966, holds six cenotaphs, namely to Luís de Camões, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Afonso de Albuquerque, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator.

Church of Santa Engrácia church in Lisbon

The Church of Santa Engrácia is a 17th-century monument in Lisbon, Portugal. Originally a church, in the 20th century it was converted into the National Pantheon, in which important Portuguese personalities are buried. It is located in the Alfama neighborhood, close to another important Lisbon monument, the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.

Lisbon Capital city in Lisbon metropolitan area, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. With an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon metropolitan area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

Luís de Camões Portuguese poet

Luís Vaz de Camões is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas. His collection of poetry The Parnasum of Luís de Camões was lost in his lifetime. The influence of his masterpiece Os Lusíadas is so profound that Portuguese is sometimes called the "language of Camões".

The Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, contains a number of cenotaphs, including one for Dante Alighieri, who is buried in Ravenna.

Florence Capital and most populous city of the Italian region of Tuscany

Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Dante Alighieri Italian poet

Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri, commonly known by his pen name Dante Alighieri or simply as Dante, was an Italian poet during the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa and later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.

Regional

Africa

South Africa

A cenotaph is the focal point of the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, South Africa. It is situated below the other main point of interest, a marble Historical Frieze in the Hall of Heroes, and is visible through a round opening in the floor. The Hall of Heroes itself has a dome from the summit of which one can view the interior of the monument. At noon on 16 December each year the sun shines through another opening in the dome onto the middle of the cenotaph, where the words Ons vir Jou, Suid-Afrika (from Die Stem van Suid-Afrika ; Afrikaans for "We for Thee, South Africa") are inscribed. The ray of sunshine symbolises God's blessing on the lives and endeavours of the Voortrekkers. 16 December is the date in 1838 that the Battle of Blood River was fought.

Durban, South Africa, has a striking and unusual cenotaph made of granite and lavishly decorated with brightly coloured ceramics.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has a cenotaph. Located on the edge of St George's Park in Rink Street, it was designed by Elizabeth Gardner to commemorate the men who died in the First World War (1914 - 1918) and was erected by the monumental mason firm of Pennachini Bros. On either side of the central sarcophagus are statues by Technical College Art School principal, James Gardner, who served in the trenches during the war. One depicts St George and the Dragon, the other depicts the sanctity of family life. Surrounding the sarcophagus are a number of bas-relief panels depicting scenes and people during the First World War. It was unveiled by Mrs W F Savage and dedicated by Canon Mayo on 10 November 1929. A surrounding memorial wall commemorates the men and women killed during World War II.

Zambia

In Livingstone there is a cenotaph at the Eastern Cataract of The Victoria Falls with the names of the men of Northern Rhodesia who died during the Great War 1914–18. It was unveiled by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught on 1 August 1923.

There is also a cenotaph in Lusaka at Embassy Park, opposite the Cabinet Office along Independence Avenue, and commemorates those Zambians who fought and died in World Wars I & II. The cenotaph was commemorated in 1977. [2]

The Americas

Argentina

Monumento a los caidos en Malvinas (Monument for the fallen in the Falklands War) is located in Plaza San Martin. Monumento Malvinas Plaza San Martin I.jpg
Monumento a los caídos en Malvinas (Monument for the fallen in the Falklands War) is located in Plaza San Martin.

A monument which has come to be known to as the "Cenotaph" was erected in Plaza San Martín, in downtown Buenos Aires, to commemorate the Argentinian soldiers who died during the Falklands War, in 1982. The monument consists of a series of plaques of black marble with the names of the fallen, surrounding a flame, and during the day is guarded by two soldiers.

Another cenotaph, which is a replica of the Argentine Military Cemetery in Darwin on the Falkland Islands, exists in Campo de Mayo, a large Army facility and training field just outside Buenos Aires.

Bermuda

A limestone replica of the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London was erected outside the Cabinet Building in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1920. [3]

Canada

In Canada, major cenotaphs commemorating the nation's war dead in World War I and later conflicts include the National War Memorial (a cenotaph surmounted by a bronze sculpture entitled "The Response") in Ottawa; Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Victoria, St. John's, Halifax, and the Victory Square Cenotaph, in Vancouver, British Columbia. and in Midland Ontario.

Falkland Islands

The Liberation Memorial situated in front of the Secretariat Building in Stanley, overlooking Stanley Harbour. Falklands War Memorial, Stanley (Falkland Islands).jpg
The Liberation Memorial situated in front of the Secretariat Building in Stanley, overlooking Stanley Harbour.

In the Falkland Islands, there are several war memorials to commemorate those killed in the Falklands War in 1982. The main memorial for Falkland Islanders is the 1982 Liberation Memorial, a cenotaph erected in Stanley in 1984 which lists all the British Army regiments, RAF squadrons, Royal Navy vessels and the Royal Marine formations and units that took part in the conflict. The names of the 255 British military personnel who died during the war are listed on ten plaques behind the Memorial, divided into the service branches.

Services are held at the Memorial each year on 14 June (Liberation Day) [4] and on Remembrance Sunday, with wreaths being laid at the foot of the Memorial. [5]

United States

In the United States, a cenotaph in Yale University's Hewitt Quad (or Beinecke Plaza) honours men of Yale who died in battle. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial in Dallas is often described as a cenotaph.

The Battle Monument in Baltimore, Maryland commemorates the Battle of Baltimore, the Battle of North Point on 12 September 1814, the Bombardment of Fort McHenry on 13–14 September, and the stand-off on Loudenschlager's Hill (now Hampstead Hill in Patterson Park). It has an Egyptian Revival cenotaph base, surmounted by a fasces bound together with ribbons bearing the names of the dead. It was designed by French émigré architect Maximilian Godefroy in 1815, and construction was completed in 1827. It is considered[ who? ] the first war memorial in America, and an early example of a memorial to individual soldiers. The Monument appears on the Seal and the Logo of the City of Baltimore, and serves as a symbol for any agencies of the municipal government. [6]

A cenotaph for the defenders of the Battle of the Alamo (March 1836) stands in front of the Alamo mission chapel in San Antonio, Texas. The cenotaph is empty because the remains of the fallen were cremated.

Atop War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech, there is a cenotaph honouring all Virginia Tech cadets who have been killed in battle. Inscribed upon the cenotaph are the names of the seven Virginia Tech Alumni who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

The United States Capitol was constructed with the intention that it house the tomb of George Washington and contains a crypt and burial chamber directly below its rotunda. Due to a disagreement between his family, the state of Virginia, and the federal government, his body was never moved there, making it a de facto cenotaph.

Asia

In Asia, the Cenotaph in Central District of Hong Kong Island, cenotaphs in Kuala Lumpur, George Town, Ipoh, Seremban and Jesselton in Malaysia, the Cenotaph in Singapore, the Cenotaph in Colombo and the stone Cenotaph in the new Allenby Square, Romema, Jerusalem - were erected as memorials to the war dead of World War I.

Various cenotaphs in Asia have also been erected to commemorate the dead from events outside conventional Western coverage. The concrete Memorial Cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was designed by Kenzo Tange to commemorate the victims of the August 1945 atomic bomb attacks. The cenotaph at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei, Taiwan was erected as a memorial to the February 28 incident. In the Philippines, a cenotaph was erected inside the Manila North Cemetery in honour of the 24 Scouts who died in a plane crash en route to the 11th World Scout Jamboree.

Europe

Armenia

Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial - The Armenian Genocide memorial complex is Armenia's official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, built in 1967 on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd (Ծիծեռնակաբերդ) in Yerevan. Every year on April 24—the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—thousands of Armenians gather at the memorial to commemorate the victims of the genocide.

United Kingdom

London

A cenotaph in the UK that stands in Whitehall, London, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens [7] and replaced Lutyens' identical wood-and-plaster cenotaph erected in 1919 for the Allied Victory Parade, and is a Grade I listed building. [8] It is undecorated save for a carved wreath on each end and the words "The Glorious Dead," chosen by Lloyd George. It was intended to commemorate specifically the victims of the First World War, but is used to commemorate all of the dead in all wars in which British servicemen and women have fought. The dates of the First World War and the Second World War are inscribed on it in Roman numerals. The design was used in the construction of many other war memorials throughout the British Empire.

There is another Cenotaph that stands on Victoria Square in Aberdare Glamorgan.

Belfast

The Cenotaph in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is located in the grounds of Belfast City Hall and is set within a Garden of Remembrance. It is about 9.5 metres (31 ft) high and presents several carvings including laurel wreaths, symbolising victory and honour. The Cenotaph is the site of the annual Northern Ireland memorial held on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day).

The Middle East

Jerusalem

Ottoman-ruled Jerusalem surrendered to the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force under General Edmund Allenby during the Battle of Jerusalem in December 1917 during World War I. A cenotaph was erected in 1920 at the historical site of the surrender, later to be named Allenby Square. The inscription dedicates it to the fallen of the 60th London Division.

Oceania

Australia

In Australia, Anzac Day commemorations are usually held at all of the nation's many war memorials, but not all of them are cenotaphs. Cenotaphs include the Hobart Cenotaph and the Sydney Cenotaph.

New Zealand

Anzac Day commemorations are usually held at local war memorials as in Australia. Cenotaphs include the Dunedin Cenotaph and the Wellington Cenotaph.

Cenotaphs for the missing

Although most notable cenotaphs commemorate notable individuals buried elsewhere, many cenotaphs pay tribute to people whose remains have never been located, particularly those lost at sea. Some such cenotaphs are dedicated to victims of the RMS Titanic whose bodies were not recovered after the sinking. Although Isidor Straus's body was recovered, Ida Straus's body was not, and a cenotaph at the Straus Mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is dedicated to Isidor and Ida together. Its inscription reads: "Many waters cannot quench love - neither can the floods drown it." [9] (Song of Solomon 8:7) The striking cenotaph of Major Archibald Butt, aide to U.S. President William Taft, is located at Arlington National Cemetery. [10]

In Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands of Ireland, drowning was formerly such a common cause of death for island fishermen that each family had a memorial to those lost at sea known as leachtaí cuimhneacháin (memorial cairns). Most were erected in the 19th century, although some date back to the eighteenth. A modern memorial was erected in 1997. [11] [12]

Chhatris

Moosi Rani ki Chatri, Alwar Moosi rani ki chatri.JPG
Moosi Rani ki Chatri, Alwar

In India, cenotaphs are a basic element of Hindu architecture, later used by Moghuls as seen in most of the mausoleums of Mughal Emperors which have two burial chambers, the upper one with a cenotaph, as in Humayun's Tomb, Delhi, or the Taj Mahal, Agra, while the real tomb often lies exactly below it, or further removed. The term chhatri, used for these canopylike structures, comes from Hindustani word literally meaning umbrella, and are found throughout the northwestern region of Rajasthan as well as in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, chhatris are built on the cremation sites of wealthy or distinguished individuals. Chhatris in Shekhawati may consist of a simple structure of one dome raised by four pillars to a building containing many domes and a basement with several rooms. In some places, the interior of the chhatri is painted in the same manner as the Haveli.

Art

Cenotaphs have also been the subject of a number of illustrations including:

Poetry

Cenotaph is used in Henry Ellison's [13] (1833) poem, Scientific Theories:

 
O Science! proud Iconoclast, thy way
Is strewed with fragments of our reverence
And love—idols with small or no pretence,
Right oft, upon their pedestals to stay,
The light oft intercepting of God's day,
E'en in His Temple! Light too pure, intense,
Which puts the eye out, dazzles the weak sense
Of mere Humanity, after its clay
Shaping its images. But take thou good heed
Thou dost not, in self-blindness and self-pride,
Pluck down the Temple's self, and, in its stead
And on its ruins, strewed far and wide,
Building as not for Living but True-dead,
A cenotaph for Man's lost Soul provide!

Mentioned in Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Digital and astronomical

In the Internet age, virtual cenotaphs are common in the game World of Warcraft. [14] [15] and in The Elder Scrolls Series games though modding add ons. [16] [17] [18] [19]

They have also been created in the augmented reality game Ingress in honour of the slain MIT police officer Sean Collier [20] and in memory of the victims of the 1942 Struma disaster. [21]

On 13 January 2016, Belgian amateur astronomers at MIRA Public Observatory dedicated, in conjunction with radio station Studio Brussels, an asterism of seven stars in the vicinity of Mars which had been photographed at the exact time of David Bowie's death; when appropriately connected they form the iconic lightning bolt of Aladdin Sane. [22] [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Southend-on-Sea War Memorial, or Southend War Memorial, is a First World War memorial in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, on the east coast of England. Designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is a Grade II* listed building.

Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment Cenotaph war memorial in Kent, England

The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Cenotaph is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and located in Maidstone in Kent, south-eastern England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens following his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London and is today a grade II* listed building.

The Royal Berkshire Regiment War Memorial or Royal Berkshire Regiment Cenotaph is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and located in Brock Barracks in Reading, Berkshire, in south-east England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, based on his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, and is today a grade II* listed building.

Welch Regiment War Memorial Grade II listed war memorial in Cardiff, Wales

The Welch Regiment War Memorial, also known as the Maindy Monument is a First World War memorial at Maindy Barracks in the Cathays area of Cardiff in Wales. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and follows his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London. Unveiled in 1924, it commemorates men of the Welch Regiment who fell in the First World War, and is today a grade II listed building.

References

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  8. "Buildings of outstanding or national architectural or historic interest."
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Further reading