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Exploring Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, home to late New York greats

The compelling graveyard is the final resting home for names like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonard Bernstein

Cemeteries aren’t typically an attraction that the average person is rushing to explore— except when it comes to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The nearly 500,000-acre site is the final resting home of many New York notables, including the likes of composer Leonard Bernstein and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and is surprisingly serene, which is probably why it attracts as many as 500,000 visitors annually.

The cemetery was founded in 1838 and is home to one of the country’s largest collections of 19th and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. During the 1860s, the cemetery was the country’s second most popular tourist attraction, after Niagara Falls.

Within the cemetery, there are four beautiful ponds as well as sculptures inspired by Egyptian designs but the most striking element of the cemetery would have to be its dramatic arched Gothic-style entrance. At the highest point within Green-Wood Cemetery, you’ll find a statue of Greek goddess Minerva, giving a wave to the Statue of Liberty.

So the next time you’re thinking of exploring the city’s hot spots, consider making a trip to Green-Wood Cemetery and take in all of its glory.