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Abandoned Cemetery - La Crypte des Fleurs, Belgium 1885

An old city cemetery lies within the tall stone walls, the entrance protected by an imposing black iron gate. When these hinges creak open in the morning, the inside of the cemetery looks quaint and peaceful in contrast to the dark facade - carefully maintained gardens surround peaceful plots, some with benches.

A very small chapel-like structure sits in a corner of the cemetery, clean and decorated with flowers - the tall wooden doors open just a crack to peek inside. One is greeted with a spiral staircase leading to a dank and moldy gallery of tombs that seem to have not been visited for many years.

Three tunnels form this crypt, which follow the cemetery paths above ground - plastic flowers grow thick with cobwebs and cracked portraits of the deceased stare back from moist stone walls. The dates of death range from 1885 to 1978; some were disinterred but most people seem to remain here. In the early days of this crypt the caskets were made of a cheap wood, and they soon liquefied in the damp underground, creating a horrendous stench. The city started an ordinance stating that all caskets to be placed here were to be made of zinc to avoid corrosion.

(Source: opacity.us)

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