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A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A mausoleum without the person's remains is called a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.


The word mausoleum derives from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (near modern-day Bodrum in Turkey), the grave of King Mausolus, the Persian satrap of Caria, whose large tomb was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.[1]

Historically, mausolea were, and still may be, large and impressive constructions for a deceased leader or other person of importance. However, smaller mausolea soon became popular with the gentry and nobility in many countries. In the Roman Empire, these were often in necropoles or along roadsides: the via Appia Antica retains the ruins of many private mausolea for kilometres outside Rome. When Christianity became dominant, mausolea were out of use.[2]

Later, mausolea became particularly popular in Europe and its colonies during the early modern and modern periods. A single mausoleum may be permanently sealed. A mausoleum encloses a burial chamber either wholly above ground or within a burial vault below the superstructure. This contains the body or bodies, probably within sarcophagi or interment niches. Modern mausolea may also act as columbaria (a type of mausoleum for cremated remains) with additional cinerary urn niches. Mausolea may be located in a cemetery, a churchyard or on private land.

In the United States, the term may be used for a burial vault below a larger facility, such as a church. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, for example, has 6,000 sepulchral and cinerary urn spaces for interments in the lower level of the building. It is known as the "crypt mausoleum". In Europe, these underground vaults are sometimes called crypts or catacombs.

Notable mausolea


Agostinho Neto's Mausoleum in Luanda, Angola

Asia, Eastern, Southern, and Southeast





The exterior view of the Mausoleum of Emperor Jahangir, located in Punjab, Pakistan


Taiy?-in Reiby? at Nikk?, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
The entrance to Higashi Otani Mausoleum in Kyoto, Japan




Asia, western

Mausoleum of the Assad family in Qardaha, Syria
The Khazneh at Petra is believed to be Nabataean King Aretas IV's mausoleum.
The mausoleum of Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala, Iraq
Mausoleum of Later Abbasid Caliph Ar-Rashid bi-ll?h


Les Invalides in Paris, France
Jusélius Mausoleum at the Käppärä Cemetery in Pori, Finland

Latin America

The mausoleum of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and his family in the Cathedral of São Pedro de Alcântara in Petrópolis, Brazil

Northern America


United States

Community Mausoleum of All Saints Cemetery, des Plaines, Illinois, United States
Mausolea in Cemetery of the Holy Rood on Long Island, New York
The interior of the Spring Valley Mausoleum in Minnesota, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Percival Lowell - Mausoleum 2013 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona


See also


  1. ^ The plurals mausoleums and mausolea are both used in English, although mausoleums is more common.


  1. ^ Toms, J. Mason (Winter 2019). "Arkansas Listings in the National Register of Historic Places: The Community Mausoleums of Cecil E. Bryan". Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 78 (4): 423-431. ISSN 0004-1823.
  2. ^ Paul Veyne, in A History of Private Life: I. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, Veyne, ed. (Harvard University Press) 1987:416.
  3. ^ al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Q?lawayh (2008). K?mil al-Ziy?r?t. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-M?l?ni. Press. p. 63.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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