January 7, 2011

Ralbitz-Rosenthal, Germany: pilgrimage church + Sorbian cemetery; things to do

Pilgrimage church and Sorbian cemetery in Ralbitz-Rosenthal, Germany

Located in the central settlement area of the Sorbs, the town of Ralbitz-Rosenthal is a pilgrimage site dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This pilgrimage church and Sorbian cemetery is administered by the Order of Cistercians. “Welcome to the most democratic cemetery in the world,” says Nawka, the village priest. “Before God, we are all equal, and everyone buried here is treated equally. Since before 1840, everyone gets the same crosses.” The wood crosses are white, because white is the color of innocence and the color of God, and it was also once the color of mourning for Sorbs (now mourning is black here). After 20 years have passed, the cross is removed and given to relatives and a new person is buried in the spot with a new cross.

Sorbian cemetery in Ralbitz-Rosenthal, Germany
Sorbian cemetery in Ralbitz-Rosenthal, Germany

More pilgrimage sites.

More things to do in Upper Lusatia.

More things to do in Germany.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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