New York City is full of enticing locations, but with all the action and innovation, some of its most enchanting spots are often overlooked: its cemeteries. The city is home to over 50 cemeteries spread out across its 5 boroughs, several of which have become national landmarks. Not only do these graveyards keep the remains of some of the most celebrated figures in history, they are frequently home to remarkable pieces of architecture and sculptures, and serve as backdrops for various films and televisions shows.
We previously highlighted a few of New York City’s smallest cemeteries. Now, here are 12 of the largest by number of interments (the largest at over 3 million), along with the histories that make them so intriguing.
12. Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp, Staten Island: 70,000 Interments
Moravian Cemetery sits on 114 acres of land and has over 70,000 interments. Among the most notable of its inhabitants are several members of the Vanderbilt Family, including the patriarch of the family and railroad mogul, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and his son William Henry Vanderbilt. The Vanderbilt mausoleum, which was designed to replicate a Romanesque church in Arles, France, is surrounded by landscaped grounds designed by Central Park creator, Frederick Law Olmsted.
Although the Vanderbilt grounds are not open to the public, there are still other historical spots accessible to all; since Moravian was established in 1740, some of its buried are amongst the oldest in New York City and the grounds boast trees that also exceed 250 years.
In addition, four walking tours are also available to the public, including the “Old Section Tour” — which will take visitors around the grave sights of the early Dutch and English settlers of Staten Island — and the “Atlantic Avenue Tour,” featuring the cemetery’s Victorian section, where people, such as the creator of New York’s botanical gardens, Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton, reside.