In older Italian cemeteries there are numerous chapels, monuments and big headstones. However, in modern cemeteries people are interred in the same type of ‘burial wall’ as in Spain. Italian cemeteries are now struggling with the problem of a lack of space. Italian cemeteries are brimful of ‘ burial blocks’ with designated ‘drawers’ for coffins. Most inscriptions on Italian plaques consist of engravings of only the first and last names of the deceased, and the dates of birth and death. Sometimes, pictures are inlaid and small vases for flowers are attached.
Probably the most original and elegant headstone designs can be found in French cemeteries. As well as traditional and classical headstones and crosses, French funeral monument companies offer a wide range of individualised designs. Recently the market has been revolutionized by extremely unique designs. Personalised designs have become vibrant and colorful. Headstones now incorporate pictures that we might usually pick as wallpapers for our desktops. The images are high-tech and tasteful but can be controversial as well. Some argue that these memorials are out of place as they believe that the funeral ceremony and the death of family members should be regarded as a sad and painful experience. Distinctive book-shaped plagues containing dedications for deceased and pictures are becoming more commonplace.
Grave marker types in Germany vary across the country. Germans are said to be quite bold in their memorial designs. The memorials are manufactured from a diverse range of materials. A variety of stone types are used, along with glass and steel. Many different shapes are also used. Candles and fake flowers are seldom seen in a Germany cemetery, however, lanterns containing holy water are often found. In older cemeteries in the southern part of Germany many wrought-iron crosses can be found. In other regions of the country crucifixes are mainly made of wood, while in the others huge plaques with mantel shelves abound. Modern German designs are largely minimalist in design, i.e., a discreet inscription containing only name, last name and birthand death dates of a deceased. Previously, all details such profession and marital status were included.
In the United Kingdom, the choice of grave markers has traditionally been wide and varied. However, over time, size and design have been limited mainly by demands on space. The most common form of burial marker has become the lawn-type grave. This has been encouraged by cemeteries on economic grounds due to the ease of maintenance with less effort being required to mow around individual graves. Additionally, the lawn marker is smaller and thus is far less expensive, thereby reducing funeral costs A rise in the popularity of cremation has also had a significant effect with a rise in the prevalence of cremation monuments Despite all of this, traditional grave markers are still available on the British market. Most commonly purchased are headstones, flat tablets and upright headstones, as well as cremation memorials. No matter the type of memorial chosen, more recent designs have become more personalised. Inscriptions include greater detail on the deceased and are far more personal in nature, often including poems, quotes or even song lyrics.