While visiting dead people might not strike you as the best theme for a holiday, there are a number of fascinating mummies around the world which are well worth a visit if you find yourself near their current resting places.
Many of these preserved cadavers give us a unique insight into history and shed light on details about the lives of our ancestors, and ‘Juanita’ in Arequipa, Peru is no exception. Named the ‘Ice Maiden’, this 12 or 13 year-old girl was found perfectly preserved on the upper slopes of the Nevado Ampato mountain, and is thought to have been sacrificed to appease the mountain around 500 years ago.
The body of St Bernadette in Nevers, France, is said to be ‘incorruptible,’ and although the nun died in 1879 at the age of 35, he body is still entirely intact. Now on display at the Chapel of St Gildard, the body was given a waxy coat of skin, as the body’s black colour was thought to be putting off squeamish pilgrims. One body whose black colour can be immediately explained is Denmark’s Tollund Man, whose remains were preserved by the peat he was buried in. At over 2000 years old he looks pretty good!
Lenin’s embalmed corpse, on display in Moscow’s Red Square, is also in remarkably good shape, and can be viewed by visitors to the city, whereas perhaps the world’s most famous mummy, Tutankhamun, is actually in relatively poor condition. ‘Tut’ has become a ‘must-see’ for visitors to Egypt, and the 19 year-old pharaoh’s body has refused to give up any answers regarding the cause of the young ruler’s death. The inner coffin is perhaps the mummy’s biggest draw, with its intricate designs made from an incredible 110kg of pure gold.
Image by Cuito Cuanavale