Glasgow Eurowalk 1

Point A - Glasgow Necropolis

Necropolis viewed from Glasgow Cathedral – photo J. Wilson

Walking Route instructions: Glasgow Necropolis is located on the eastern edge of Glasgow City Centre and is open from 7.00am till 4:30pm daily. Start at Cathedral Square (postcode G4 0UZ.) The main entrance gates to the Necropolis lie behind St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art, and adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral. Enter the Necropolis by walking across the bridge. A detailed map of the position of the graves we feature on our walk is found at the bottom of this page.

The bridge across to the Necropolis is a nod to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice due to both being the routes for funeral processions. The Glasgow Necropolis has the Emperor Napoleon of France to thank for the idea of its construction. In a move away from burials around churches, the Père Lachaise cemetery, a “garden cemetery”, was created on a hill outside Paris. The Emperor had declared at the beginning of the 1800s, post the French revolution, that “every citizen has the right to be buried regardless of race or religion”, and he personally approved the plans for Père Lachaise, perhaps the most famous cemetery in the world, which opened in Paris in 1804. This idea became renowned across Europe and the men who were behind the plan for a new Glasgow cemetery were quite adamant that it should be based on the model of Père Lachaise in Paris.

The Glasgow Merchants House had bought land near Glasgow Cathedral. This parkland was believed by John Strang, Chamberlain at the Merchants’ House, to be “admirably adapted” to create Glasgow’s own version of the famous Paris Père Lachaise cemetery. It is a multi faith burial ground, designed for Glasgow’s higher classes at the time. The first person to be buried in the Necropolis was Joseph Levi, who was Jewish, and was buried in 1832.

Among the particular people we have highlighted for our Eurowalk are the German Henry Dübs and the Frenchman Pierre Jacques Papillon.

These and others all highlight the importance of European links in Glasgow’s heritage. You may just wish to view the Necropolis from a distance or walk around it – you can easily spend a couple of hours walking around the Necropolis.

(A detailed map of the locations we have highlighted can be found at the bottom of this page)

Detailed map of the Necropolis locations:

This website has further information about the Necropolis:

Walking Route Instructions: Return across the bridge that you entered by and turn right to visit Glasgow Cathedral.