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Tomb, Mausoleum

The Paramore family mausoleum in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri

A mausoleum (plural: mausolea) is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum. A Christian mausoleum sometimes includes a chapel.

The word derives from the Mausoleum of Maussollos (near modern-day Bodrum in Turkey), the grave of King Mausollos, the Persian satrap of Caria, whose large tomb was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Historically, mausolea were, and still may be, large and impressive constructions for a deceased leader or other person of importance. However, smaller mausolea soon became popular with the gentry and nobility in many countries, particularly in Europe and her colonies during the early modern and modern periods. These are usually small buildings with walls, a roof and sometimes a door for additional interments or visitor access. Single mausolea may be permanently sealed. A mausoleum encloses a burial chamber either wholly above ground or within a burial vault below the superstructure. This contains the body or bodies, probably within sarcophagi or interment niches. Modern mausolea may also act as columbaria (a type of mausoleum for cremated remains) with additional cinerary urn niches. Mausolea may be located in a cemetery, a churchyard or on private land.

In the United States, the term may be used for a burial vault below a larger facility, such as a church. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, for example, has 6,000 sepulchral and cinerary urn spaces for interments in the lower level of the building. It is known as the 'crypt mausoleum'.

Notable mausolea

Taj Mahal, in Agra, India is the world's most famous and most photographed Mausoleum.

St. Joseph's Chapel Mausoleum at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Key West (rural Dubuque), Iowa. This mausoleum has traditional mausoleum burial vault as well as columbarium style niches for cremated remains.

Notable of mausolea.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

the Mausoleum at Miniatürk, Istanbul

Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne

The Mastaba

The pyramids of ancient Egypt, Nubia and China are also types of mausolea.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (a highly important Byzantine mausoleum in Ravenna, Italy.)

Anit Kabir mausoleum of Ataturk the founder of the Republic of Turkey at Ankara, Turkey

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Ðình Square in Hà Nội.

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Beijing

Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow, Russia.

Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum, in Sofia, Bulgaria . Built in 1949 to hold the embalmed body of the Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov (1882-1949). Contentiously demolished in 1999.

Damdin Sükhbaatar in Sükhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (very similar to Lenin's)

Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore, Pakistan.

Mazar-e-Quaid at Karachi, Pakistan (c. 1960)

Royal Mausoleum and the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum at Frogmore, England

Grant's Tomb, New York City - a reduced-scale version of Mausolos' original mausoleum.

Hamilton Mausoleum at Hamilton in Scotland

Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, Illinois

In Le Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris.

A Tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. The term generally refers to any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. The word is used in a broad sense to encompass a number of such types of places of interment or, occasionally, burial, including:

Burial vaults – stone or brick-lined underground spaces for interment (rather than burial), originally vaulted, often privately owned for specific family groups; usually beneath a religious building such as a church or in a churchyard or cemetery

Church monuments – within a church (or tomb-style chests in a churchyard) may be places of interment, but this is unusual; they more commonly stand over the grave or burial vault rather than containing the actual body and are therefore not tombs

Crypts – often, though not always, for interment; similar to burial vaults but usually for more general public interment

Martyrium - final resting place for the remains of a martyr or saint, such as San Pietro in Montorio

Mausolea (including ancient pyramids in some countries) – external free-standing structures, above ground, acting as both monument and place of interment, usually for individuals or family groups

Megalithic tombs (including Chamber tombs) – prehistoric places of interment, often for large communities, constructed of large stones and originally covered with an earthen mound

Sarcophagi – stone containers for bodies or coffins, often decorated and perhaps part of a monument; these may stand within religious buildings or greater tombs or mausolea

Sepulchres – cavernous, rock-cut or stone-built (often underground) spaces for interment, such as the tombs of ancient Egypt; however, it is generally used to refer to similar Jewish or Christian structures.

Architectural shrines – in Christianity, an architectural shrine above a saint's first place of burial, as opposed to a similar shrine on which stands a reliquary or feretory into which the saint's remains have been transferred

Other forms of archaeological 'tombs' such as ship burials

As indicated, tombs are generally located in or under religious buildings, such as churches, or in cemeteries or churchyards. However, they may also be found in catacombs, on private land or, in the case of early or pre-historic tombs, in what is today open landscape.

The tomb of Emperor Nintoku (the 16th emperor of Japan) is the largest in the world by area. However, the Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt is the largest by volume.

Daisen-Kofun, the tomb of Emperor Nintoku, Osaka