Mountain View Cemetery – Oakland, California - Atlas Obscura

Mountain View Cemetery

Oakland's beautiful monumental cemetery. 


Established in 1863 and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, this historic 223 acre cemetery holds crypts of many famous founders of California and big names in Bay Area history. 

Among those buried here are “chocolate king” Domingo Ghirardelii, Big Four railroad tycoon Charles Crocker, Oakland mayor Samuel Crocket, Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, the ill-fated lovers Alexander and Josephine Dunsmuir of Dunsmuir House, and Anthony Chabot, founder of the Chabot Observatory, as well as Elizabeth Short, the victim of the unsolved Hollywood murder known as the “Black Dahlia”.

Among the curious elements of the cemetery are its three pyramid mausoleums—more than any other cemetery in the U.S. The pyramid mausoleum craze started in the early 1800s after Napoleon invaded Egypt.

The view from “Millionaire’s Row” at the crest of the hill offers beautiful views down onto Oakland. Maps and information on docent tours are available from the office near the cemetery entrance.

Just down the street from the cemetery is the beautiful Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium. Designed by Julia Morgan, the columbarium consists of many small rooms with a Gothic feel, connected by larger, naturally lit areas with interior gardens.

Know Before You Go

Mountain View Cemetery is located at the end of Piedmont Avenue on the north side of Oakland, California nestled against the East Bay hills.

The cemetery is open to the public on select days. Visit their website for more information on the limited recreation days.

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