Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

Our old tombstones are full of symbols, they actually tell a story that everybody can understand. Just yesterday I found a lexicon for symbols which helped me a lot to explain all the things I found at the ancient graves in our beautiful old graveyard.
A palm-leaf is the symbol for eternal life and resurrection
A closed book is the symbol for the completion of human life. In the book the fate of men has been recorded
A broken column is the symbol of the connection between heaven and earth which has been broken
A rose is the symbol for worshipping the dead persons
A skull is the symbol for decay and death
A poppy seed capsule is the symbol for eternal sleep
An hourglass is the symbol for the lifetime which is ticking away
A wreath is the symbol for the achieved salvation
An anchor is the symbol for hope
A lowered torch in the hand of a young man was the symbol for extinction of life
Please take a close look to find all the symbols. Sometimes they are not so easy to find.

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49 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

  1. Oh these are BEAUTIFUL ! And I am so pleased that you found this old book which has helped you to unlock the key to the meaning of thesesymbols. It is a little like The Language of Flowers which was very popular during the Victorian era- where you also needed a little book which revealed the meaning of each flower.
    As always, your posts and the subject matter is one which is very respectful of the beauty and meaning of the past. And you draw our attention to things which we might so easily overlook.
    Karen x

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    • Thank you so much, Karen. I’m sure you have a lot of wonderful cemeteries in England, too. That’s really interesting to hear about the language of flowers. I also remember that old English rings had different precious stones which had a meaning, too. Do you know what I mean? Thanks again for liking my post and for your friendship which makes me very happy. Have a wonderful sunny day, kind regards Mitza

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      • Yes, I do remember saving a page from a Martha Stewart magazine once which featured the meaning of various stones. We are all supposed to have a birth stone too, I think. x

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      • Yes, I know about birthstones. But it always changes in every book so that I don’t know exactly what stone is for me (June). But I love acquamarine and some blue semi precious stones, garnets etc. x

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      • It is so good to share the connections we have and to find that we enjoy so many similar things. I live in a little village which has some very interesting headstones in the Churchyard, but none of them are as elegant and elaborate as the ones you feature in your post. I wonder if that is because country folk tend towards a simpler style. There is one very interesting tomb though….I might have to pop down there and photograph it for you. Thank you for your friendship and support too Mitza x

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      • I think it always depends when places have been founded. Our beautiful cemetery was founded in 1876 and afterwards cam art nouveau. Hamburg is a very rich town with a lot of history and rich people have huge graves. The director of our zoo even had his favorite lion next to him cast in bronze, but it was stolen from people who melt bronze in order to earn money.
        Yes, dear Karen, I’m very happy to know you, as we have in common: gardening, love for flowers, love for house decoration, sewing , cats, fleamarkets, old things etc. that’s quite a lot, Mitzaxx

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      • And they are such special things too aren’t they? They are the things which make my heart sing, and yours and I am so glad that we share that connection and those interests. 🙂
        I am so interested in the tales you tell about the cemetery, especially the tale of the lion for the zoo keeper. It is also interesting that my house was being built in 1886, but that at that time, the village still had no proper water system and I think most people here would have been quite poor. You are right, Hamburg’s wealth is reflected in the the way the graves were marked.
        I only wish I could find the time to share more of the things I love on my blog…..each day is so short! Karen x

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      • I’m always so happy when you write, Karen. I know that the days are so short, too. Today we had nice weather and I made a bicycle trip to our museum village. They have collected a lot of very old North German farm houses, barns, mills etc. and have a lot of old machines, tractors, old beehives, old spokewheels, old milk cans and some cute animals, cats, dogs, chicken, a turkey, ducks, geese, goats, pigs etc. It was so calm there like 200 years ago and I could fill up my “battery”.
        I would love to see your house. I love old English houses so much. Have a lot of books about English house decoration etc. It’s so lovely. You are very lucky to have a house. Have a wonderful sunny day, Karen, cheers Mitza

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  2. These are all so beautiful Mitza!!! 😀 I had no idea that all these symbols actually had a deeper meaning, that’s really interesting! I really like the hourglass with the wings…Time flies by so fast…

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    • My dear Alexandra, I’m happy you liked my post and learned something new. I myself just found out all these interesting things and I’m really overwhelmed myself. I will take some more walks on this beautiful old cemetery. I’m pretty sure that you have such wonderful places in Vienna, too. 🙂 Mitza

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      • 😀 I can imagine!!! I guess most of the times we don’t even notice all these symbols, much more think about what they could mean! I haven’t visited any of the cemeteries in Vienna yet but i’m sure they are really nice! 😀 I must arrange to do it soon, on a cloudy day of course…hehe! 😀

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      • If I ever come to Vienna we could do this together. Must be fun. I heard that Vienna has a lot of art nouveau buildings. Is that true? We have a very cloudy day today, it’s all grey and raining. Hope you have better weather. 🙂

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    • I was overwhelmed myself by finding out these meanings. I love these old tombstones a lot. They have a very morbid beauty but I didn’t know that a lot of things have a certain meaning. Thank you for your nice comment and your approval, regards Mitza

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    • You are welcome. I was learning something interesting myself. The world is full of symbols, we just have to learn how to read them. Thank you for your kind words, have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

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    • The broken column means in general that something has been broken or ended. You only find these symbols in very old tombstones. Nowadays they just write names and dates of birth etc. Thanks a lot for your nice comment, Mary, have a wonderful day, on the other end of the world, regards Mitza

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    • There are some people that like to visit graveyards like you and me and find beauty there. You can discover a lot of wonderful things and contemplate on our huge old graveyard. It is an enchanted place for me. I love to walk there. Thank you for your comment, have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

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    • Ja, genau, Ohlsdorf. Das ist ein Traum. Wenn Du mal irgendwann frei hast, dann könnten wir uns treffen und dort mal hinfahren. Ich habe eine Freundin, die geht da schon seit Jahren jeden Tag spazieren. Da gibt es so viel zu entdecken. Liebe Grüße Mitza

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  3. Ich finde deinen Beitrag wirklich toll und deine Bilder sind wunderschön. Die Symbolerläuterungen sind echt interessant…man sieht jetzt viel genauer hin und sucht nach den Symbolen.
    Liebe Grüsse aus Afrika 😉

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    • Liebe Stefanie, danke für Dein “like”. Habt Ihr auch so schöne alte Friedhöfe? Ich glaube, bei Euch gibt es meist Kreuze, oder?
      Unser alter Friedhof “Ohlsdorf” ist wirklich ein wunderbarer, verzauberter Ort, wo man täglich spazierengehen kann, weil er wie ein Park ist, auch mit Seen, wo Gänse brüten etc.
      Bei uns ist es nicht mehr so heiß. Wir wollten heute eigentlich einen Ausflug nach Schwerin machen, aber es regnet “cats and dogs”. Sehr schade. Liebe Grüße nach Afrika, Mitza

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      • Also bei uns haben die meisten Friedhöfe Grabsteine. Kreuze gibt es…aber nicht viele und so prunkvolle Gräber mit Statuen gibt es selten, aber sie sind ein Blickfang. Solche Grabstätten laden dazu ein, die Gedanken schweifen zu lassen. Mir geht es halt so damit.
        Das muß ja ein ganz besonderer Ort sein.
        Bei uns in Afrika hält die Hitzewelle noch bis mindestens Ende der Woche. Heute haben wir 35 Grad. Zu Hause geht’s…wir haben uns für den Wohnraum eine mobile Klimaanlage gekauft. So kann man bei der Hitze auch einmal den Herd anmachen 😉
        Schade um deinen Ausflug. Ich schicke dir ein bißchen Sonne und nehmen mir dafür ein bißchen Regen 😀
        Liebe Grüsse Stefanie

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      • Danke, liebe Stefanie, ich bin richtig traurig, dass es mit dem Ausflug nicht geklappt hat, denn mein Mann hatte heute Geburtstag. Ich wollte auch so viele schöne Fotos machen. Na vielleicht nächste Woche. Ich friere richtig heute. Aber so heiß mag ich auch nicht so gerne. Liebe Grüße Mitza

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    • That’s a good idea, Perry. I still have some photos left for another post. But as you might remark, people don’t really like such topics. Our old graveyard is from 1876 and I thought it was the biggest in Europe. It’s 7,2 sqkm and a wonderful park with lots of rare trees and animals, worthwhile to visit. Regards Mitza

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