Sun, May 22, 2016 - 31K - 03:30:00
31K Stahnsdorf Cemetery Run
Today's run went straight down the Teltow Canal, into Teltow, off to Stahnsdorf, until I reached my goal: The Stahnsdorf Cemetery, second largest cemetery in Germany. The reason it is so large (two square kilometers) is that beginning in the second half of the 19th century, the population growth of Berlin made it difficult to maintain cemeteries so they created this cemetery outside the city. It kept growing throughout the early 20th century, especially in the 1930s when Albert Speer was designing "Welthauptstadt Germania" for the National Socialists and realized that numerous cemeteries lay in the path of his plans, and so these cemeteries were also moved outside the city adding to this already large cemetery. Aside from some famous people whom you can visit here, e.g. Engelbert Humperdinck, composer of the Hänsel und Gretel opera, Karl-Ludwig Schleich, the man who introduced local anesthesia into clinical practice, and Friedrich-Wilhelm Murnau, German silent film producer from the 1920s, the cemetery is unique in that it is a forest cemetery for the most part, with 100-year-old graves dispersed in random almost spooky fashion throughout the trees. It also has little niches that open up in the forest to form little spaces for being alone in contemplation, very nice. Even the Queen of England visited this cemetery in 2004 to pay honor to fallen soldiers from World War I. I spent a memorable 20 minutes walking around the paths through the trees, then after leaving the cemetery, I began my long trek back home, the weather was tropic, warm and muggy, especially running along the canal, but in all it was an adventure-filled run.