Posts Tagged ‘cemeteries’

As much as I love exploring towns and photographing doors, I also love exploring cemeteries and French cemeteries are so interesting and different from those in the US.   During the last few visits to France, we’ve seen a chapel atop a very high hill but never explored it.  This year on one of our wanders, my s-i-l pointed the Defender up a narrow road, hoping we wouldn’t meet anyone, as there was nowhere to pull over.  Someone would have had to back up quite a distance, not an exciting proposition on a narrow, curving road with a drop-off on one side.  Trust me on this.  We’ve had to do it before!!

When we reached the top, unscathed, we discovered the Chapelle Saint-Martin de Faucogney-et-la-Mer surrounded by an extensive cemetery whose residents ranged from dates in the 1800’s to the present.  The hilltop location ensured both the ability to spot danger and to defend against it if necessary.  That day, there were only the two of us, but the view was to certainly to die for.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

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Just as colds and coughs are going around this winter, the 5-Day Black and White Photo Challenge is making its way around.  But although it’s catching, it’s much more fun that being sick!  The only rules as far as I know, are to post a black and white photo for five days (a different one each day, naturally) and to nominate another photographer to join in each day.  I was invited by Isadora from Isadora Art and Photography, an excellent photographer.  Thanks, Izzy.

Inn 2011, we visited Normandy to see where my f-i-l landed on D-day.  No visit there is complete without visiting many cemeteries and one of those we visited was the German cemetery at La Cambe.  In that somber place, one grave stood out, not because of its marker (they’re all the same, acknowledging the deaths of heart-breakingly young men), but because there were flowers, mementos, and a photo.  The grave is that of Michael Wittman, of whom Wikipedia says:

Michael Wittman (22 April 1914 – 8 August 1944) was a German Waffen-SS tank commander during the Second World War. Wittmann rose to the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) and was a Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross holder.

He was credited with the destruction of 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns, along with an unknown number of other armoured vehicles, making him one of Germany’s top scoring panzer aces, together with Johannes Bölter, Ernst Barkmann, Otto Carius and Kurt Knispel who was the top scoring ace of the war with 168 tank kills.

Although it’s not allowed to mention any SS rank or connection and any such things are removed each day, they reappear regularly and the grave is a destination for many who visit here.  I thought that black and white was appropriate for the subject, lending a solemn feel.

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For the first day, I would like to nominate Sally from Lens and Pens by Sally, who hosts the weekly Phoneography and Non-SRL Digital Devices Photo Challenge.  There’s a weekly theme and Monday is the day the challenge begins.  If you take photos with a non-camera camera, please join us.