Chapel of the Chimes and Mountain View Cemetery- Oakland
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For the History and Architect Buffs
The closest you will ever come to Hogwarts. Chapel of the Chimes is a historic gem nestled quietly at the foot of Piedmont Cemetery. Originally built in 1909 and titled, The California Columbarium, the chapel has expanded, becoming a vast 3 story menagerie of indoor gardens, labyrinths of memorials and masterfully designed spaces. The "indoor cemetery"'s structure takes on a meld of middle eastern airiness and Gothic romance. Visitors will experience a sense of calm walking through the naturally lit hallways, listening to birds sing and fountains trickle. Family members of the deceased quietly leave flowers and spend time paying their respects. The main office on the lobby floor offers a health of information on the property and it's history. There is no entry fee which is a plus too. Though it may seem a strange to offer a mausoleum as a tourist stop, the strange yet breath taking architecture is well worth the time. To further your experience, take a walk or drive through Mountain View Cemetery. The historic grounds host spectacular mausoleums, monuments and headstones dating back to the mid 1800s. Landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, also designed Central Park and much of UC Berkeley and Stanford University. There are many grandiose crypts in tribute to the wealthy who are buried there. There are docent lead tours to guild you around its beautiful settings and to share its history.
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