outdoor mausoleums

What Is a Mausoleum?

MAUSOLEUMS DEFINED

For years, mausoleums have been chosen as a way to commemorate and honor the deceased. Mausoleums are building constructions with the sole purpose of housing someone’s remains.

A mausoleum is an above-ground, free-standing building that has crypts or any other type of burial compartments to hold remains. They are found in many cemeteries, yet they vary in size, design, and purpose.

Some mausoleums can hold the remains of one person, while others are capable of carrying the remains of several family members. Mausoleums are used to protect the remains from natural elements. Mausoleums are popular in areas such as New Orleans or South Florida, where water levels and ground conditions don’t meet in-ground burial requirements.

OUR MAUSOLEUMS

The Gardens of Boca Raton serves as South Florida’s finest above-ground cemetery. We provide personalized service for individuals looking to pre-plan their end of life arrangements and those in immediate need when a loved one passes.

Our grounds are scenic and tranquil, with a beautiful memorial park that is home to many mausoleums. Family members and loved ones find comfort in having a quiet spot for reflection where they can pay respects to those who have passed. At The Gardens of Boca Raton, we specialize in above-ground burials such as mausoleums.

HISTORY OF MAUSOLEUMS

Mausoleums are ancient burial methods that date back to 350 BC. The term ‘mausoleum’ comes from King Mausolus, who was buried by his wife in a temple-like building. His remains rested on a stone platform, the building was surrounded by columns, and to many, this structure is the earliest kind of mausoleum ever recorded. King Mausolus’ entombment was even considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Ever since, families, communities, and world leaders have turned to mausoleums to bury their loved ones in above-ground buildings. Leaders and emperors often built elaborate mausoleums to showcase their power and money. Today, many families choose mausoleums as a way to preserve and honor the memory of their loved ones.

TYPES OF MAUSOLEUMS

Besides being categorized by their style, mausoleums are also found in different types. In cemeteries, you’re most likely to stumble upon these kinds of mausoleum buildings:

Indoor: A community or shared space where crypts are entombed indoors. This allows family members to visit their deceased loved ones regardless of weather conditions.

Gardens: Outdoor or garden mausoleums that resemble indoor mausoleums. These offer a community or shared space to house remains.

Private: Private mausoleums are often free-standing buildings that house several crypts for the entire family. These private mausoleums can be indoor or outdoor.

MAUSOLEUM CRYPT STYLES

Within mausoleums, there is another sub-category that refers to the type of crypts being used. Dependent on the kind of mausoleum chosen, families can opt for several types of crypts:

Single: The most common crypt style. Single crypts are able to house the remains of one person, either in a casket or an urn.

Side-by-Side: Designed for two people, these crypts are often chosen by couples. In side-by-side crypts, the caskets are positioned next to each other horizontally. Families can choose to engrave each marker or a large marker that expands for both crypts.

Companion: Also designed for two people, companion crypts only use the space of a single crypt. With this option, caskets are lined up “end-to-end.”

Family: Also known as “Westminster family crypts” this crypt style can house as many people as a family wants. The casket’s arrangements vary from end-to-end, side-by-side, or stacked on top of each other. In this case, each person can have its own marker, or families can choose to share a large marker.

FAMOUS WORLD MAUSOLEUMS

The world is filled with famous mausoleums that are now considered Wonders of the Ancient World. These mausoleums house famous leaders, emperors, royals, and other influential people that have made a mark in history. Some of these mausoleums are known well-known tourist sightings.

  • Tomb of Cyrus – Iran
  • Lenin Mausoleum – Russia
  • Humayun’s Tomb – India
  • Castel Sant’Angelo – Italy
  • Tomb of Jahangir – Pakistan
  • Imam Husayn Shrine – Iraq
  • Mausoleum of the Shirvanshahs – Azerbaijan
  • Shah-i-Zinda – Uzbekistan
  • Terracotta Army – China
  • Taj Mahal – India
  • Jahangir’s Tomb – Pakistan

Individuals travel from all over the world to view these great wonders. They are considered to be some of the most beautiful monuments ever constructed and visitors often find themselves in awe of the elaborate and ornate buildings.

While many mausoleums that are constructed today are relatively small, generally not taller than 7 to 10 feet, these ancient mausoleums are quite expansive. They provide a glimpse into burial customs of the past and many are revered landmarks and points of pride in the countries they stand within. Some house brilliant chandeliers, precious jewels and gemstones, and feature large sanctuaries for congregations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Choosing a mausoleum is a unique type of above-ground burial. Most individuals are familiar with traditional ground burials and cremation, but may have questions regarding mausoleums. We are here to serve as a source of information, helping you to determine if this above-ground burial method is the best choice for you, your family, or a loved one.

Do bodies decompose in mausoleums?

Decomposition is a part of nature and bodies do decompose in mausoleums. However, the decomposition process is not the same as it is with in-ground burials. In a mausoleum, once a body is placed inside a crypt it slowly becomes dehydrated and begins drying out. This can take much longer than decomposition in a ground burial.

What happens to a body inside a mausoleum?

Mausoleums are strong, well-built structures that house what are known as crypts. A crypt is a small room within the mausoleum where either a casket or a cremation urn is placed. That room is then sealed twice, once from the inside, and then again on the outside using special caulking.

Mausoleums that entomb just one body are permanently sealed, while a family mausoleum is designed so that it can be re-opened in the future.

What religions use mausoleums?

While many ancient civilizations built mausoleums to commemorate the dead, they are again becoming increasingly popular today. Those who practice Islam often construct the beautiful monuments to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones and those who practice the Jewish faith also build special monuments. While mausoleums became less popular in Christianity following the downfall of the Roman Empire, more individuals are choosing them today. They are also popular among those who are non-denominational.

Can you view a body in a mausoleum?

Some mausoleums are built so that you can walk inside. They have an open room, with crypts lined against the outer walls, or horizontal above-ground crypts inside. However, you cannot see the bodies. While you may be able to see the area of entombment, mausoleums are constructed to protect the caskets or urns held within them.

Do mausoleums smell bad?

A mausoleum should never smell. Cemeteries and funeral homes are held to strict laws governing how they must build mausoleums, following strict code to ensure safety and sanitation. Mausoleums are carefully engineered in a way that is both structurally sound and safe for those who visit. Human remains are considered hazardous and must be entombed properly.

In a mausoleum, there are proper ventilation techniques that builders must follow to ensure that gasses and air are properly released. Additionally, the crypts must be sealed appropriately. If there is ever a smell surrounding a mausoleum it is a sign that something is wrong. You should make the cemetery aware immediately. If the problem persists, contact the city. While mausoleums are much sturdier and less susceptible to weather damage than in-ground burials, on very rare occasions problems may arise. These must be addressed immediately, both from a legal and ethical standpoint.

WHY TO CHOOSE A MAUSOLEUM IN FLORIDA

If you are looking into burial options in the state of Florida, strongly consider a mausoleum. Above-ground burials are ideal for the state, particularly because of the significant amount of rain and wind the area receives. Mausoleums are strong structures that can withstand inclement weather.

Furthermore, flooding is a hazard that can affect Florida cemeteries. When flooding occurs it poses a risk to in-ground burials. Caskets can rise to the surface of the ground, tombstones get dislodged and damaged, and some individuals find that they need to rebury their loved ones which opens emotional wounds and can be quite costly.

Mausoleums do not pose such great risk of flooding and you will never have to worry about a casket resurfacing or needing to rebury a loved one. As they are much larger and much stronger than traditional tombstones they are less likely to sustain damage during hurricanes. Hurricane season is a significant concern for burial sites in South Florida, as fallen debris and wind can damage in-ground burial sites just as much as flooding.

Additionally, mausoleums offer a tranquil place to come and pay respects to a loved one. In Florida, memorial parks are often surrounded by lush greenery. Family members and friends will have a place to sit and look at a monument that pays tribute to their loved one. Mausoleums often have elaborate carvings and are crafted with brilliant architecture. They sometimes include family seals. When loved ones sit and gaze upon them they feel a sense of peace.

FAMILY MAUSOLEUMS

If you are looking to purchase a burial plot for your family, a private family mausoleum is an excellent choice. In family mausoleums there are multiple crypts and the outside structure is not permanently sealed (though the crypts within them are). What this means is that the mausoleum may be re-opened in the future to place another casket or urn. Each crypt is sealed individually, meeting safety and sanitary measures.

Family mausoleums provide a final resting place where spouses and extended family members may lay together. One of the main benefits of this is that the monument will serve as a spot where future generations may come to pay respects to the entire family at one time, instead of having to travel to multiple locations across the country.

Another benefit of purchasing a family mausoleum is that you may customize the structure to truly reflect your family, your family’s values, and your heritage. There is much more opportunity to personalize a mausoleum compared to individual tombstones. The structures can be stunning, made from marble and high-quality stone, with bronze or metal adornments, and more.

Furthermore, when you choose to build a family mausoleum you may pick a spot that is special to you. Many mausoleums also come with a small area that you may decorate or landscape to your liking. You can plant your favorite seasonal flowers, or choose beautiful greenery to surround the structure. You are creating a tribute to your family that is unlike any other.

HOW TO KNOW IF A MAUSOLEUM IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Choosing a final resting place is a deeply personal decision. It is one that only you can make. If you are considering a family mausoleum you must come together and discuss the possibility as a whole family unit to get everyone’s thoughts and address any questions or concerns.

Ultimately, only you and your family can decide if a mausoleum is the best final resting place for you. If you are looking to build a beautiful structure where loved ones can come for many years to come, that is safe against environmental elements, it may be the best decision.

THE GARDENS OF BOCA RATON TOUR

It can be hard to envision just what a mausoleum looks like if you have never seen one before. Whether you are considering a community mausoleum, a garden mausoleum, or a private mausoleum, it may help put your mind at ease to see what each looks like in person.

At The Gardens of Boca Raton, we offer private tours and consultations. You can schedule a time to meet with our dedicated counselors and they will answer any questions you may have and show you around the grounds. Here, you can see what each type of mausoleum looks like and sense the peace and tranquility that accompanies each spot.

It is often when individuals see our beautiful memorial park and community mausoleum that they make the decision to proceed with either pre-planning arrangements or selecting a mausoleum for a loved one in immediate need.

If you would simply like to walk around our gardens and take in the scenery around you, seeing what the park is like in its natural element, our grounds are open to the public. You can see the beautiful mausoleums that many other families and individuals have built and take the time to reflect on your own needs and wishes.

Planning a burial can be overwhelming, so having experienced burial arrangement counselors to go over your options can be of great help. Have one of our counselors go through our burial options with you. Call them anytime at (561) 571-9373, or visit our gardens at 4103 N. Military Trail in Boca Raton.

Our phone are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and our Funeral Director is always on call should you need to speak with them immediately. There will never be a time when your call goes unanswered.