If you’ve ever toured a cemetery, or watched a scary movie, you’ve likely seen a mausoleum standing high above the headstones. A mausoleum in Walterboro, SC is an above-ground structure that contains crypts or burial compartments that hold human remains. They might contain the remains of one individual, a family or many people or families.
Benefits of mausoleums
A mausoleum can protect human remains from the elements much better than a traditional burial, depending on the area. For example, in New Orleans, where the city is below sea level, people have interred their loved ones in above-ground structures for centuries because the ground is too low and too damp. Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where flooding is not a new issue, a mausoleum in Walterboro, SC also makes sense.
Mausoleums are also beneficial for space saving. Instead of spreading everyone out across a burial plot, more people can fit into a site when their burial compartments are stacked atop each other. The crypt is just large enough for one coffin or urn to fit, allowing for more space. Some crypts are designed to hold two coffins, so that spouses or relatives can be buried together.
Depending on the mausoleum’s design, visitors may be able to enter the mausoleum to visit loved ones. There may be a bench or quiet area for reflection. Some mausoleums are climate controlled for such visits. Other mausoleums are inaccessible, listing names of the deceased on the outside.
History of mausoleums
Mausoleums have been in use since ancient times. The Egyptian periods are notable examples of early—and opulent—mausoleums. Mausoleums get their name from King Mausolus of Caria, the ruler of a small kingdom in Asia Minor who died in 353 BC. Upon his death, his wife Artemisia commissioned a grand shrine for his tomb. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Since then, the term “mausoleum” is applied to any grand tomb.
Many royals, leaders and wealthy families have commissioned elaborate structures for their final resting place. Perhaps the most famous mausoleum is Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal in India, built for his favorite wife between 1632 and 1648. While they may not be international wonders, many of today’s mausoleums still look quite beautiful architecturally.
Is a mausoleum right for you?
Mausoleums are a beautiful homage to your life and family, but can be quite expensive to maintain. Even if you aren’t asking for the Taj Mahal, you still could pay several hundred thousand dollars for a private family structure. If you choose a single crypt inside a public mausoleum, it could cost $2,000 to $5,000.
Not all cemeteries have public mausoleums, and they may have strict rules about building a mausoleum on site. If you have a particular cemetery in mind, you’ll need to discuss your plans with them first. Mausoleums can be a lovely and practical choice, but it’s important to first do your research.
If you’ve been wondering, “What is a mausoleum?” Steedley Monument Works is here to help. Contact our expert team in Walterboro, SC today.