There are some really bizarre places in Russia. Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, for one. The modern part is where the glitterati who didn’t make the Kremlin Wall were buried: Yeltsin, Khruschev, Raisa Gorbachev, Mayakovsky, Orlova, Stalin’s second wife, cosmonauts, generals. Even Solzhenitsyn’s censor. Pictures do the totality of Novodevichy Cemetery little justice, but to give you an idea, check out this, this, this, this, and this. There was one particularly hideous grave featuring a bald man’s head jutting almost horizontally out of a rock formation. Alas, I cannot find one picture of it; ours must not have turned out.
Individually these graves at Novodevichy were all quite appalling, as the English might say, and emblematic of man’s boastful pride. The haphazard landscaping at the cemetery added to the bemusing quality of it all.
Don’t miss Novodevichy Cemetery if you go to Moscow. Hopefully you will leave it wanting the humility of a simple marker.