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Romania: Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution

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Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution | Romania | Europe

[Visited: February 2010]

In December 1989, Romanians stood up against the regime that had been suppressing them for decades. Unlike other countries in Eastern Europe, the Romanian revolution was a bloody one. Hundreds of people were gunned down in the streets of Bucharest - many of them teenagers. When I visited Bucharest in January 1990, there was a makeshift cemetery with wooden crosses and handwritten notes. It left a lasting impression on me. Now, twenty years later, it was time to visit the official Cemetery of the Heroes of the Revolution, or the Cimitirul Eroii Revolutiei.

Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Marble tombstones in the Cemetery of the Heroes of the Revolution

When I visited Bucharest this time, the signs of a thick layer of snow were visible everywhere. On the pavement, heaps of snow were slowly melting, and it was sometimes difficult to walk. The sun was starting to shine on snowy Bucharest, and when I walked through Carol I Park which contains the grave of the unknown soldier at the feet of an immense monument. From here, it was a short walk to the cemetery, which was easily recognizable by the orthodox church next to it. After entering the cemetery, the noise of the street running next to the cemetery died down a little bit.

Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Red flowers i white snow in the Cemetery of the Heroes of the Revolution

A thick layer of snow was still covering the 281 tombs. I immediately noticed that all tombstones were identical: marble slabs, a cross on the side, flowers, a flag with the Romanian colours, a small candle next to the tombstone. Upon closer inspection, they gained individuality. A name, a small black and white picture. Elsewhere in the cemetery, I came across a wall with plaques with names of all the revolutionary heroes. After walking around the small, serene cemetery, I walked into the Church of the Martyr Heroes. A typical orthodox church, this church was specifically built for the cemetery and its heroes. Inside, a coffin with a dedication to those killed during the 1989 events. Here, people come to pray for those outside, to find peace with history, to keep the memory of those unfortunate teenagers and older victims of the brutal events alive.

Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Heroes of the 1989 Revolution commemorated on a plaque
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Church of the Martyr Heroes with snow and blue sky
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Picture, flowers, and Romanian colours on a tombstone
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Tombs at the cemetery of the heroes of the revolution
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Woman on her knees in the Church of the Martyr Heroes
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Young Romanian killed in the 1989 revolution
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Cemetery of the Heroes of the Revolution under a layer of snow
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Names of the victims buried in the cemetery
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Coffin with dedication to the victims of the 1989 Revolution in the Church of the Martyr Heroes
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Looking up the dome of the Church of the Martyr Heroes
Picture of Cemetery of Heroes of Revolution (Romania): Paintings on the walls of the Church of the Martyr Heroes

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