A beautiful, haunting cemetery.
Step into an ancient-modern world as you walk through the ornate gates of the Mission San Gabriel Archangel Cemetery, a tiny graveyard with beautiful statue monuments. The Mission was founded in 1771, and the cemetery was founded in 1778, making it the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles County. The cemetery is adjacent to the Mission, and is open 7 days a week.
It definitely looks like something from a bygone era. Faded marble tiles, painted with skulls and bones and inscriptions in Spanish, flank the iron gates. Weathered tombstones and monuments look ancient and beautiful, like miniature ruins.
The most striking features are the statue monuments, beautiful, forlorn looking cherubic figures, standing in tribute to fallen loved ones. They have a quiet beauty and poetic grace. Some are so old the arms have fallen off, the surfaces rubbed smooth by time and the elements. Some of the grave markers were decorated for Day of the Dead when I visited, colorful skeletons and toys as a reminder of the joys of life.
I felt a bit disrespectful taking pictures there, but there is such a solemn beauty to the cemetery, I felt I had to honor this historic place. It’s nice to have an open portal to the past so close to my home.