Westerveld Crematorium – Driehuis, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

Westerveld Crematorium

Driehuis, Netherlands

The first crematorium in the Netherlands.  

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At the end of the 19th century, there were only a handful of people who thought cremation was a good idea. They were actively trying to convince other people that cremation was the modern, more hygienic, and less space-consuming way to deal with the dead.

One of these early activists was Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker, better known as Multatuli. By the time he died, cremation was still illegal in the Netherlands, he was cremated in Germany and his ashes were taken to the Westerveld cemetery.

In 1913, the first crematorium in the Netherlands was built by famous architect Willem Dudok. He also designed the first urns also found in Westerveld. It wasn’t until 1955 that cremations were fully legalized, but the crematorium at Westerveld was operating since 1914 nonetheless.

 

 

Know Before You Go

The whole cemetary is beautifully located on a hilly part of Driehuis and contains graves (and urns) of quite a few famous Dutch people, like Anthony Fokker (the aerial pioneer).

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April 24, 2023

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