- About Dudok
- Architecture by Dudok
- Architecture Hilversum
- About DAC
The former outdoor cemetery Gedenkt te Sterven was one of the first cemeteries in the Netherlands to be built outside the built-up area. The cemetery was therefore no longer tied to a specific Church, but was intended for all inhabitants. The cemetery was opened in 1793. Well-known Hilversumbers like Albertus Perk, Dr. J.F. van Hengel and B.W. Bledenstein found their final resting place there. In 1943 the cemetery was closed and most of the graves were cleared. As Stadstuin De Hof, the former cemetery, now a municipal monument, forms a true oasis in the busy center of Hilversum.
After centuries of burial in the church, new ideas about physical and mental health developed in the eighteenth century. From a hygienic point of view, burial in the church was prohibited and from 1829 it became mandatory to bury outside the built-up area. The municipality of Hilversum already received permission in 1792 to use a piece of land between the cornfields as a graveyard. The cemetery was walled and provided with an iron railing with pilasters bearing the words “Remember to Die”. Burial was initially a continuation of the burial method in the church. The flat graves are reminiscent of the stone floor with burial vaults in the church, while the wall refers to the walls of the church.
In 1813, the cemetery was doubled in width by adding a piece of farmland to the west of the site. The site was divided into four parts by two intersecting avenues. At the end of the eighteenth century, it was not yet customary to furnish a graveyard with plants. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that beech, chestnut and spruce were planted. The striking beech avenue along the central, east-facing path dates from that time. The construction had, in addition to an aesthetic, also a hygienic reason: the tall trees would prevent the noxious fumes rising from the cemetery from spreading over the village.
After years of dilapidation, the De Hof Foundation has managed the site since 1996, which has since been located in the middle of the busy center of Hilversum, where it forms a serene haven as a city garden. At the intersection of the main paths is a so-called death lantern, offered in 1998 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of undertaker Van Vuure. A death lantern was supposed to stop the devil and demons from opening the tombs. Along the east wall is a row of columns in the form of buttresses. A story of Hilversum is depicted in each column. There are also several memorial stones. The De Hof Foundation regularly organizes cultural events in the former cemetery.
Entrances Oude Torenstraat, Torenlaan and Burg. Andriessenstraat, Hilversum