Dark tourism in the city of Porto

You might think that this post is going to address some of the bad consequences associated with tourism, but that is for another day. In fact, the title refers to a type of tourism. Still mostly unknown, this kind of tourism has been growing in the last few years.

What is it?

Well, dark tourism is when visitors from all around the world travel to one place with one main purpose: visiting cemeteries and places related to death and suffering in general. I think the best way to explain it is by giving some examples. Places like the World Trade Center where you can visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum, New Orleans where operators guided for a period of time curious visitors through the hardest hit areas of the hurricane Katrina and Auschwitz, the location of the concentration camp where more than 1 million people died.

hiroshima
Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Even though this is considered to be a morbid thing, more and more people are becoming interested in it and find it peculiar and unique. Between 2007 and 2010 around one million people have come to Porto in order to get to know our northern cemeteries. The supporters of this kind of tourism are fascinated by the marvelous architecture and by the involving emotions, stories and landscapes.

In relation to this city, nowadays the most popular place for this type of tourism is the Cemetery of Prado do Repouso, the first public cemetery in our city. Called the “Museum of Death”, this place is listed on TripAdvisor and has a page on Visit Porto.  You may also visit the cemetery of Lapa, cemetery of Agramonte, cemetery Britânico, and many more.

Image result for cemitério do prado do repouso
Statue at the Cemetery of Prado do Repouso

To quote Francisco Queiroz, an art historian: “Cemeteries are also a space for the living, constructions are built for contemplation.”

Would you dare joining this new trend?

Post by Joana Gomes

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