Bonaventure Cemetery

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Overview

Discover the captivating allure of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. History, iconic statuary, and ancient oak trees beckon you to explore its timeless beauty.

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Tripshepherd
330 Bonaventure Rd, Thunderbolt, GA

Nestled beneath the shade of ancient oak trees in the enchanting city of Savannah, Georgia, lies a place of profound beauty and historical significance: Bonaventure Cemetery. This iconic cemetery, with its elaborate statuary, serene pathways, and rich heritage, has earned its reputation as not only a final resting place for the departed but also as a living testament to the art, culture, and history of the American South. A visit to Bonaventure Cemetery is a journey into the past, an exploration of intricate tombstones, and an opportunity to connect with the stories of those who have come before us.

Where is it Exactly Located?

Bonaventure Cemetery is located in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The peaceful setting rests on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River, east of Savannah. The cemetery is located at 330 Bonaventure Road, Savannah, Georgia, 31404.

How to Get There?

Getting to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia is relatively straightforward, and there are several options available to visitors. If you have access to a car, the most convenient method is to use GPS or a map app to navigate to the cemetery's address: 330 Bonaventure Road, Savannah, Georgia, 31404.

Alternatively, if you prefer not to drive, you can check the local public transportation operated by Chatham Area Transit (CAT) for any routes that might take you close to the cemetery, although it might require some additional walking from the nearest bus stop.

Many tour companies in Savannah also offer Bonaventure Cemetery Tours, often including transportation to and from the cemetery. These tours provide an informative and convenient way to explore the site while learning about its history and notable graves.

Entry Fee

Entry to the cemetery is free.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah largely depends on your personal preferences and tolerance for different weather conditions. The cemetery's unique charm and beauty can be appreciated year-round, with each season offering its own distinct experience.

Generally, Spring (from March to May) is a popular time to explore Bonaventure Cemetery. During this season, the weather is typically mild, and the cemetery comes to life with vibrant blooms and lush foliage. The blooming azaleas and other flowers add a colorful and enchanting atmosphere to the site. However, due to the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery, the spring months can be relatively crowded, especially on weekends.

Highlights 

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah is renowned for its numerous highlights that make it a captivating and historically significant destination. Some of the key highlights of Bonaventure Cemetery include: 

Majestic Oak Trees:

The cemetery's iconic oak trees, adorned with Spanish moss, create an enchanting and somewhat eerie atmosphere. The sprawling branches and hanging moss provide a beautiful and haunting backdrop to the graves.

Sculpted Artistry:

Bonaventure is adorned with a variety of sculptures, mausoleums, and markers that reflect different architectural styles and artistic expressions. Notable sculptures include the "Bird Girl" statue and various striking and ornate tombstones.

Historical Graves:

The cemetery is the final resting place of numerous historically famous people, including veterans, authors, artists, and other notable individuals. These beautiful cemeteries and monuments tell the stories of these individuals, shedding light on Savannah's rich history.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil:

The cemetery gained international fame through John Berendt's book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," in which it played a central role. As a result, it has become a popular destination for fans of the book and movie adaptation.

Historical Significance:

The cemetery's history dates back to the early 19th century, and its design was influenced by the Rural Cemetery Movement, reflecting the Victorian-era approach to creating cemeteries as park-like settings for reflection and remembrance.

Features

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, is a mesmerizing blend of history, nature, and artistry. As you step into this hallowed ground, you're immediately embraced by a surreal and haunting beauty. The centuries-old oak trees, draped in Spanish moss, create a canopy that filters the sunlight, casting a dappled glow over the pathways. Ornate tombstones and statues stand as testaments to the city's cultural diversity and rich history.

Amidst the serene surroundings, the cemetery offers a refuge for nature enthusiasts, with a variety of bird species making it a birdwatcher's paradise. The proximity to the Wilmington River adds to the tranquil atmosphere, offering breathtaking water views and unforgettable sunsets. In this unique and timeless setting, Bonaventure Cemetery beckons visitors to explore its history, embrace its natural beauty, and experience the serenity that only a place with such rich and diverse surroundings can provide.

History

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, boasts a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the early 19th century. Originally established as a private plantation, the land was transformed into a public cemetery after the City of Savannah purchased it in 1846.

The name "Bonaventure" was chosen for the cemetery, which is derived from the French phrase "bonne aventure," meaning "good fortune" or "good adventure." This name captures the sense of optimism and adventure often associated with the idea of life's journey and the afterlife.

In the late 19th century, Bonaventure Cemetery underwent significant changes in design and landscaping, inspired by the Rural Cemetery Movement. This movement aimed to create cemeteries as peaceful, park-like settings that provided a space for reflection and remembrance. Under the guidance of John Muir, a prominent landscape architect, the cemetery was transformed into an enchanting place adorned with intricate sculptures, grand monuments, and a stunning canopy of oak trees, draped in Spanish moss. Presently, the Bonaventure Historical Society is responsible for preserving the rich history and heritage of the cemetery.

Today, Bonaventure Cemetery stands as both a testament to Savannah's storied past and a place of natural beauty and artistry. Its historic significance, unique sculptures, and captivating natural surroundings make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and those seeking a tranquil and reflective experience in the heart of Savannah.