ASCE Conference 2021: What makes a cemetery significant?

ASCE Conference 2021
The latest proposals in this area, that were also discussed at the AGM 2021, will now be presented at this year's ASCE Conference.

Extension of the AGM 2021

The ASCE Conference 2021, which this year exceptionally takes place separately from the Annual General Meeting, is being organized by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust for the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, and will take place in an online form via ZOOM on 11 and 12 November 2021. Nevertheless, we wanted to maintain the connection between the two events. Therefore, this year's Conference will be an extension of the AGM, and will address many topics which were previously discussed at the meeting. The basic definition of significant cemeteries will be at the forefront. 

What makes a cemetery significant?

This is the question that has been rising over and over again since the very founding of ASCE. Over the past 20 years, we have been trying to find and improve an effective method of categorizing cemeteries into this important group. The latest proposals in this area, that were presented at this year's AGM, will now be presented also at the ASCE Conference.

Mr. Ian Dungavell (delegated and scientific representative of ASCE and organizer of this year's ASCE Conference) will have an extremely interesting and instructive lecture in which he will answer the important questions about what makes a cemetery significant. Is this its size, history, artistic and architectural value, the important personalities buried there or something completely different? 

Let's find out together. Join the discussion and tell us what your opinion is.

How to register for the Conference?

You can find the registration form HERE.

The general admission for the two days Conference is 25,00 EUR.

ASCE members will get a special promo code via email with all the information on how to use it to get a 10,00 EUR discount upon registration. If you are an ASCE member and did not receive the promotional email by Friday, October 8, 2021, please contact us at

Certosa of Bologna designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the porticos of the city

On July 28, 2021, the porticos of Bologna were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The candidacy process began in 2006, when they became part of the Italian list of candidate sites. The property includes 12 groups of porticos and the surrounding built-up areas, located within the Municipality of Bologna.

This architectural typology is undoubtedly the most representative of the city and extends for a total of 62 kilometers. It is, in fact, considered an element of urban identity - as the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini underlines, highlighting how its unique nature deserves to be promoted. 
In the course of 2020 the candidacy dossier has been revised, enriched and strengthened by including other places in the fabric of the city of historical, architectural and artistic importance closely related to the porticos selected, such as the Palazzo della Mercanzia, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Baraccano, the system of Piazze (Maggiore, Re Enzo and Nettuno), the stretch of the plain of the portico of San Luca up to the Arco Bonaccorsi, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the portico of Alemanni and part of the monumental area of the Certosa Cemetery

With this recognition, the Certosa of Bologna Monumental Cemetery becomes a World Heritage Site
The straight porticoed structure over seven hundred meters long that connects the cemetery to the portico of San Luca - the longest in the world - is a unique example of a modern sepulchral portico, built between 1811 and 1834 thanks to the generosity of its citizens. Ercole Gasparini's project was to physically connect the city of the dead with the city of the living, continuing the centuries-old local tradition of connecting places outside the city center to the city. 

The Certosa Cemetery was founded in 1801 after the Napoleonic edict of Saint-Cloud, on the model of the ancient Roman sepulchral roads, converting the Carthusian convent built in 1334, of which today the church of San Girolamo remains. The monumental complex is the result of an articulated stratification of loggias, cloisters and buildings belonging to various chronological phases, whose fulcrum is represented by the Chiostro Terzo, which is influenced by the local neoclassical culture. Inside, there is a noteworthy repertoire of paintings and sculptures made by the most virtuous Bolognese artists active in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

In the cemetery are housed some important local and national figures: among them the statesman Marco Minghetti; the painters Giorgio Morandi and Bruno Saetti; the Nobel Prize for literature Giosue Carducci and the writer Riccardo Bacchelli; the opera singer Carlo Broschi, the composer Ottorino Respighi and the singer Lucio Dalla; the general Giuseppe Grabinski and the prime minister Taddeo Matuszevic; as well as the founders of the companies Maserati, Ducati and Weber and of the publishing house Zanichelli

Throughout the nineteenth century, the Cemetery was a privileged destination for visitors to Bologna, whose most illustrious names include: Lord Byron, Jules Janin, Charles Dickens and Theodor Mommsen.
It is, therefore, an exceptional place from the historical and cultural artistic point of view in the national and international panorama, worthy of the highest form of protection and promotion. The Portico of Certosa was designed by Ercole Gasparini between 1811 and 1834. In the original idea, the building was meant to be longer, but only the section from the Arco del Meloncello to the Reno Canal was built. In reality, there are traces of another segment, totally distorted and incorporated with the subsequent enlargements: it is a short corridor that runs along the west side of the courtyard of the Monumental Entrance and that preserves some nineteenth-century tombs. Gasparini's idea was that the portico should connect seamlessly with the Certosa, reaching its center, giving real form to an ideal union between the city of the living and the city of the dead. 

The area selected as UNESCO heritage is the one that has more relevance both from an architectural and theoretical point of view with Gasperini's project. Some areas of the twentieth century are thus included because they were built respecting the urban form of the nineteenth-century cemetery (Chiostro VIII, Chiostro IX for example) or because they conclude an idea that was never realized. The Chiostro VI or of the Great War was completed almost a century after the Portico della Certosa, but it traces the area and the spirit of what should have been the 'Chiostro del Pantheon' which was only realized in the south side, then demolished and preserved only for the monuments that had been built in the meantime. It is not by chance that in this part of the VI Cloister there are some tombs dating back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, such as the one dedicated to the sculptor Alessandro Franceschi, whose presence would not be explained otherwise.

ASCE Conference 2021: It's time to sign up!

ASCE Conference 2021
Acknowledged cemetery experts discussing "Cemetourism: Cemeteries with Stories to Tell". Join us at the ASCE Conference 2021.

Conference dates and venue

After the excellent ASCE Annual General Meeting, which took place from 16-18 September 2021 in Budapest, Hungary, another great event is approaching. The ASCE Conference 2021, which this year exceptionally takes place separately from the meeting, is being organized by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust for the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, and will take place in an online form via ZOOM. When?

On Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November 2021.
  • 9am-2pm UK time
  • 10:00 - 15:00 UTC +1 (most of Europe)
  • 11:00-16:00 UTC+2 (Athens, Bucharest)

Cemetourism: Cemeteries with Stories to Tell

This year's Conference will be especially interesting, taking a practical rather than historical approach to significant cemeteries. The main theme is Cemetourism, and many acknowledged cemetery experts will be speaking about: 
  • Understanding the cultural significance of cemeteries.
  • Developing the unique story of your cemetery.
  • Wayfinding: helping visitors navigate to the parts that matter.
  • Cemetery museums: complementing the outdoor experience.
  • Cultural programming in cemeteries.
  • Working with tourism promotion agencies.
  • Reconciling tourism with burial activities.
  • And so much more.

The event will also be an extension of the AGM 2021 and will therefore address many topics which were previously discussed at the meeting. A great opportunity for all the ASCE members that were unable to come to Budapest, and for all the others who have an interest in significant cemeteries.

How to register?

You can find the registration form HERE.

The general admission for the two days Conference is 25,00 EUR.

ASCE members will get a special promo code via email with all the information on how to use it to get a 10,00 EUR discount upon registration. If you are an ASCE member and will not receive the promotional email by Friday, October 8, 2021, please contact us at

Parish Cemetery of Olvera (Olvera, Spain)

Parish Cemetery of Olvera (Olvera, Spain)
The Parish Cemetery of Olvera has been a place of burial for centuries, protected by the medieval fortress and the cliffs on which the castle sits.

About the Cemetery

The Parish Cemetery of Olvera originates back to 1573, when the parish acquired the lands of an old olive grove after the construction of a primitive church in the middle of the 16th century. As usual, this space was intended for the burial of those who could not afford to be buried inside the church, in the underground vaults. This cemetery remained the only one in Olvera until 1899, when the Municipal Cemetery was built. The Parish Cemetery was closed on 2 March 1932, during the Second Spanish Republic, due to the law of secularization. However, in 1938 secularization and seizures in Spain ceased, returning the ownership and management to the Church.

This graveyard stands out for its location hung to the void, anchored to the great rock on which the Castle sits. From there you can contemplate some excellent panoramic views of the region. It also stands out for its artistic and historical values, and you can appreciate the constructive evolution of the niches of the municipality, at the beginning of stone, lime and sand, and today of brick. Its exceptional degree of preservation allows you to find epitaphs barely readable by the passage of time. The orography to which it had to adapt has given the elongated form that it currently shows. Despite being mottled to the space, it has been possible the construction of family mausoleums, chapels and graves.

On All Saints Day, Olvera Parish Cemetery looks like no other day of the year, being the meeting place of neighbors and outsiders who come to him in order to adorn it. Every corners of the narrow streets that compose it have ornamental elements, flowers and candles that stand out between crosses of forge and marble angels.

Important graves or monuments

The Entrance (19th century): 
The entrance to the enclosure is made through a grid that gives way to a kind of corridor located between two houses, which becomes a space of transition between the street and the cemetery in an Andalusian typical esthetic.

Entrance to the enclosure (19th century) Entrance to the enclosure (19th century)

Arab Wall, BIC - Element of Cultural Interest for the Ministry of Culture, Gobernment of Spain (The 12th century):
Today several towers and walls are conserved of which was the walled fence that defended the town that would rise in its interior. It starts from the angle of the south side of the castle following south and west. The round passage is preserved in the wall. The set is constructed of rigid walls of small size and irregular shape.

Arab Wall (12th century) Arab Wall (12th century)

Castle of Olvera, BIC - Element of Cultural Interest for the Ministry of Culture, Gobernment of Spain (The 12th century):
The Castle was built at the end of the 1th Century and formed part of the defenses of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. At 623 meters above sea level it is the highest point in the locality, Its strategic position allowed a view of the castles along the frontier that separated Muslim and Christian Spain. Its irregular foundations are adapted to the craggy cliff on which it sits.

Castle of Olvera (12th century) Castle of Olvera (12th century)


Plaza de la Iglesia, nº11,
11690 Olvera (Cádiz)


Juan Caballero de las Olivas y Buzón
Phone: 956120388

Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Olvera
Phone: 956130011

In memoriam – Dragan Baltovski


Dear friends and colleagues,

We wish to share with you that our General Manager, Mr Dragan Baltovski passed away suddenly this morning. Mr Baltovski was an exceptional manager and scholar, who transformed our company in to well-organized, modern funeral company. In addition, Mr Baltovski supported and was intensely involved in ASCE activities and promotion of the funerary heritage of the New Cemetery.  He was our biggest motivator, harshest critic, but also a tremendous support during the hardest of times and will be missed greatly.

Mr Dragan Baltovski was born in Zaječar on November 16,1953. He graduated from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Economics in 1977, while acquiring Master of Science in Economics at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics in 2005. He commenced his professional career at the Foreign Trade Institute in 1978 and continued at Serbian Chamber of Commerce Canter for Research, Development and Economic Analyses in 2000. Mr Baltovski was the author of numerous papers on economic development of Serbia, international economic relations and services sector development. Appointed General Manager of PUC „Funeral Services“ by the City of Belgrade on 20.10.2008 and was since elected three more times.

Public Utility Company "Funeral Services"

Belgrade, October 1, 2021

Photos of the AGM 2021

Formal dinner while cruising on the Danube river
Three days of the ASCE Annual General Meeting 2021 in Budapest, summarized in a short photo review.

A new guide to the Monumentale Cemetery of Milan

A revised edition of the guide first published in 2013 is now available from most e-commerce bookstores.  It is a 216 pages volume with brilliant photographs of celebrated and less known monuments, mausolea and statues. A guide dedicated to visitors, tourists and all those who are eager to discover and get acquainted with the treasures hidden between the tree-lined avenues of this open-air museum.  
 One of the most important in Europe and acclaimed by over 100,000 visitors per year.  The included maps  to walk round section by section make identification of the selected artworks easier. Information about the relevant architects and sculptors as well as historical and artistic details are also provided.

A unique performance at the Monumentale of Milan

Saturday, 25th September, at 9pm the Monumentale Cemetery will host the play "Uomini liberi. Ambrogio e Agostino" staged on a Ape Car, a three-wheeled utility vehicle.

Brainchild of Amici del Monumentale, Moto Teatro and Socrem-Milano (Cremation Society of Milan), whose president, Giovanni Bossi, donates this special performance in remembrance of all Milanese citizens who died from Covid.

Giacomo Poretti, a leading cinema and theatre actor, is the only player.  In the background, Milan to represent the place where the German Ambrogio, Bishop of the city meets Agostino, an African rhetoric teacher. Foreigners and the city of Milan as a welcoming and demanding mother that keeps urging its children to acknowledge the responsibility of their talent whilst guiding them to realize the true sense of freedom. Giacomo Poretti's performance will be accompanied by the  flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn of the Quintetto Notturno Clandestino. Free entrance. A donation for the restoration of  the tomb of Carlo Maciachini, the architect of the Monumentale, is appreciated.

From history to history - Monumental cemetery of Turin (ITA)



A collective story that has crossed the places of
Vanchiglia, Madonna del Pilone and Borgo Dora, tracing the thin thread of
memory that binds the memories of the people who today live in the streets and
squares of the 7th District, to those of the characters who lived there and
whose graves are found in the Monumental cemetery and in the Sassi cemetery.
Among the characters of the past come back to life with the power of the story,
Giulia Colbert, Giacinto Pacchiotti, Ada Gobetti, Francesco Cirio, the Biolley
family and the chantosa Isa Bluette.

At 4.15 pm, the last animated walk will take place
among the historic tombs of Cirio (founder of the tomato industry), Isa bluette
(stage name of Teresa Ferrero, worker of the Tobacco Factory who has become a
famous actress who is responsible for the discovery of Totò and Macario) and
the Biolley family (armory suppliers for the Royal House) at the Campo
Evangelico. 15 places available.

At 6 pm, on the other hand, “Tomatoes, Theater and
cannons“, the final theatrical representation of this collective narrative will
be staged at the Campo della Gloria (the partisans' cubes). Entrance at 5.45 pm
from Corso Regio Parco 80. 100 seats available.

For information : 3473120419 or

Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery (Budapest, Hungary)

Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery (Budapets, Hungary)
Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery is a monument protected in its entirety and it recalls the 20th century tragedy of Hungary’s Jewry.

About the cemetery

Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery (Budapest, Hungary)
The Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery lies next to the Fiumei Road Cemetery and is separated from it only by a stone wall. The two of them represent the most prestigious cemeteries in Hungary where important personalities of the public, political and economic life, scientists, artists and athletes are buried. People who defined the history of Hungary in the 19th and 20th century. Both cemeteries are also unique for their architectural elements and tomb sculptures.

Much of the unparalleled built heritage of Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery is provided by the mausoleums of the business elite arising during the Age of Dualism. Furthermore, the remarkable atmosphere of this cemetery, which was opened to visitors in 2016, is given by the particular symbiosis of buildings and vegetation.

The cemetery recalls the 20th century tragedy of Hungary’s Jewry. For example, there is the mausoleum – ornamented with Jewish symbols and Hungarian motifs – of Vilmos Vázsonyi, the first Hungarian minister of Jewish origin, but there is also a memorial to the victims of the Budapest Ghetto, many of whom are buried here.

Important graves and monuments

Ceremony building (1908)
This building was designed by Béla Lajta. The tomb of Rachel of Bethlehem served as a model for its design. The dome collapsed decades ago, but the renovation is planned. Also the tomb of Vilmos Vázsonyi, the first minister of Jewish religion can be found near here.
Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery (Budapest, Hungary)
Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery (Budapest, Hungary)

József Zwack (1916)
József Zwack was a liqueur and distillery manufacturer. He founded the well-known Zwack Unicum factory, which brand is now known all around Europe. He patented the Unicum brand and recipe in 1883. 
Ármin Herz (1917)
Herz Ármin is the founder of a salami factory. He made the Hungarian production of salami covered with noble mold a success. His brand became a Hungaricum (a thing or phenomenon unique to Hungary and representing great value) in 2014.

Graves of ghetto victims in Budapest (1945)
The grave of those who died in the Budapest ghetto and were buried in the graveyard after the liberation of the ghetto. According to cemetery books 2.700 people rest here.

Mausoleums along the walls (19th century - early 20th century)
There are 147 mausoleums in the cemetery, of which 126 are located along the cemetery walls. Building mausoleums is a unique feature of the neolog Jewish burial, which is unique also in Europe. Among them the Weiss Family (founder of Manfréd Weiss Steel and Metal Works in Csepel) and the Hatvany-Deutsch family (mayor producer in milling and sugar industry) are the most important.

Cemetery location

6 Salgótarjáni Street,
Budapest, 1086

Postal address

16-18 Fiumei Street,
Budapest, 1086


Janos Prutkay
Phone: +36 70 382 90 57

Tourist information

The cemetery is opened from Sunday to Friday, and it is closed during Jewish religious celebrations.

Visitors can register for guided tours in advance. The tours are free of charge.

It can be reached by trams 37 and 37A.

More info on the website