Not much further down the road the Kwalestraat starts. Pass a small stream and you are looking to a beautiful castle. The castle is private property and can't be visited but when you are in this neighbourhood it is worth a look. The castle is about 100 years old.
St Jobs chapel
Coming from the graveyard take a left turn, it is not really a road but a path following the walls of the graveyard. Follow the path, enjoy the green view over meadows, untill you reach the Jobstraat. Go left again. Not much further there is a small white church surrounded by trees. It is located on the corner of the St Jobstraat and Frans Roucelstraat. At the back of the church there is a small artificial cave with a scene of the crucifiction of Christ. Inside the church is sober, but worth to see nevertheless.
Since 1784 it is no longer permitted to bury the died in the church. Before that time the rich people got burried in the church to be as close to God as possible. The poor people were buried outside. You can imagine the smell of the decaying bodies under the floor (hence the dutch expression: rich stinkers) not to mention the possibility of diseases.
In Aalst the first graveyard outside the city dates back to 1784. It soon became to small and in 1867 a new one was established right at the spot where you find the graveyard today.
The rich people were buried at the best, and most expensive spots, along the walls of the graveyard. They were buried in huge monumental graves which were purchased for eternity. Today that is no longer possible due to a lack of space. But you still can see the borders of the first graveyard here, by looking where the largest graves and monuments are standing. Today the graveyard is much larger.
The graveyard has some monuments for warvicitms. Entering through the gate on your left are some graves of soldiers (belgian and other nationalities) who died during the two world wars. And not much further on the left are some metal crosses marking the graves of civilion warvictims.
Without doubt the most striking gravemonument is the large colomn on the grave Albert Liénart (1872), he was a politician from Aalst and son of a wealthy banking family. His gravemonument is full of symbols like the vase with veil, even in roman and greek times a symbol for mourning. And the winged hourglass representing the shortness of life. The left wing is a of a dove and the right wing is a bats wing. Representing day and night. The upside down torch is also a symbol of the extinguished life.
In the citymuseum and at the tourist office they have more info about the graveyard and its monuments. A booklet (probably in dutch) is for sale from this offices.
The graveyard is located along the N9, the Leo de Bethunelaan, the entrance opposite the Kerkhoflaan.
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