Cemetery Marken (NL): the protestant way?

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Marken is a village situated on a former island (since 1957 peninsula) in the Ijsselmeer – former Zuiderzee. The local cemetery is located on a shell covered terp and has a quite strikingly plain appearance. Graves on the communal section of the cemetery are simply marked by a metal pin with only a number on it – each plot can hold up to six people. Since 2012 it is allowed to also place a modest stone with the name and a date on the graves. Signs of grave visits are rare, although the more recent graves hold flowers, candles and little statues. There are also private graves available that have a more ‘regular’ appearance.

The cemetery of Marken is often described as typical Protestant or Calvinistic – where with death all earthly connections are broken and the deceased are in no way perceived as intermediates between worlds. Interesting is the contrast between this cemetery and that of neighbouring Volendam (a predominantly catholic village). Also good to keep in mind that it also appears to be one of a kind in the Netherlands.


Pictures were taken on 30 September 2015.

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