History and etymology
The English word "cenotaph" derives from the Greek: κενοτάφιον kenotaphion (κενός kenos, meaning "empty", and τάφος taphos, "tomb").
Cenotaphs were common in the ancient world, with many built in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and across Northern Europe (in the shape of Neolithic barrows).
The cenotaph in Whitehall, London — designed in 1919 by Sir Edwin Lutyens — influenced the design of many other war memorials in Britain and in the British sectors of the Western Front, as well as those in other Commonwealth nations. Lutyen's cenotaph was chosen as a deliberately secular monument.
The Church of Santa Engrácia, in Lisbon, Portugal, turned into a National Pantheon in 1966, holds six cenotaphs, namely to Luís de Camões, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Afonso de Albuquerque, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator.
The Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, contains a number of cenotaphs, including one for Dante Alighieri, who is buried in Ravenna.