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April 26, 2005



Olsansky Hrbitov is Prague's largest cemetery. Typical of
graveyards in the Czech Republic, it is crowded with trees
(which give it the cleanest air in Prague). It's a living cemetery,
alive with birdsong and other activity. Many were there on
this weekday tending graves while scores of other sites were
adorned with fresh flowers and other recent offerings. A new
name was being chiselled into a headstone while elsewhere a
man meticulously painted in the carved letters of an epitaph.
We had entered through the newer part of Olsany where
John and I both noticed how the tall grey monoliths there
resembled the office buildings visible beyond the cemetery
walls. While the new part of the cemetery was neat and well-
tended, the older area where the forgotten lay was overgrown
into anonymity, the ivy covered markers reminding one of
nature's ultimate reclamation, even in the heart of the city.