Burial in a mausoleum can be a wonderful expression of love and honor, an homage to those who have gone before us and a burial monument cherishing the memory of loved ones.
Pictures of mausoleums offer inspiration for available styles of architecture. However, there are two basic design options to consider during construction of mausoleum architecture: the more common above-ground mausoleum, and the more expensive burial vault or underground crypt with an above-ground building.
A mausoleum’s cost is an important factor when considering the purchase of a mausoleum, though finding the proper location and artistic style of mausoleum are equally important. Before buying a mausoleum, research mausoleum styles through gallery books on cemetery and mausoleum sites or actual cemetery visits.
A mausoleum is a building, often made of granite, designed for entombment. Musoleums are often creations of great beauty and architecture, honoring and memorializing the deceased and family. In 353 BCE, Mausolus, ruler of Halicarnassus and part of Asia Minor, died, leaving his sister and queen Artemesia behind. Artemesia hired renowned architects and sculptors to create a grand tomb for Mausolus. The monument was so fabulous it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and all future buildings for entombment were referentially named mausoleum. Find more definition of mausoleum terms in our mausoleum FAQ section.
While Mausolus's tomb was ravaged and destroyed over the centuries, other great mausoleums remain. The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and a greatly admired work of architecture. In this instance, this extraordinary example of mausoleum design was built by a husband who so loved his wife. Shah Jahan built this mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal over 22 years in the mid-1600's. 22,000 workers and more than 1,000 elephants worked to create the vision of architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. This bejeweled beauty attracts millions of visitors a year, moved by the beauty of the mausoleum and the love story behind it.
The largest mausoleum ever discovered belongs to China's unifier, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. The mausoleum in Lintong, Shaanxi Province, China covers over two million square meters, and took 700,000 laborers 36 years to complete. The terra cotta army unearthed as the 2,200 year old was excavated is awe-inspiring. View other examples of mausoleum construction of historic mausoleums.
Today's mausoleums are built for individuals, families, and unrelated groups of people. A cemetery, for example, may build a community mausoleum with room for many tombs. A family mausoleum may be built in a cemetery on a purchased plot, or on the family's estate grounds. Family mausoleums may be classically styled or styled to match the architectural features of the estate, and are often positioned in a garden setting. Similarly, individual mausoleums, built to emtomb only one person, are located in cemeteries and private property. Much like family mausoleums, individual mausoleums are designed to reflect personal and family interests, characteristics, and faith.
A private mausoleum is a lasting tribute or memorial, reflecting position and achievement. Developing your own mausoleum plans? If you intend to build a mausoleum, start with our mausoleum resources.
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