Novodevichy Cemetery – Moscow, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Novodevichy Cemetery

Moscow's most popular cemetery includes the graves of numerous cosmonauts. 


Just second to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in terms of burial prestige in Moscow, the Novodevichy Cemetery includes many of the most significant “eternal residents” in Russian history.

The cemetery was opened in 1898, but really got popular in the 1930s with the re-interment of celebrated Russians like Nikolai Gogol and Sergey Aksakov after their former necropolises were demolished under Stalin. Now the graves of Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Aleksey Tolstoy, and other favorite Russians attract admiring visitors.

Of special interest are the space-age graves of numerous cosmonauts which pay tribute to their achievements. These include Gherman Titov, the second man in space, as well as rocket engineers. Pavel Belyayev, who was the first to command the Soviet cosmonaut corps, overseeing the Voskhod 2 mission in 1965 in which the first man walked in space, has the most impressive grave upon which a life-size sculpture of the cosmonaut strides through a portal, presumably to the stars. 

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April 12, 2013

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