The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London
The Cenotaph, Auckland, New Zealand
The Cenotaph, Hong Kong

A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.

History and etymology

The English word "cenotaph" derives from the Greek: κενοτάφιον kenotaphion (κενός kenos, meaning "empty", and τάφος taphos, "tomb").[1]

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.[2]

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.

Other Languages
العربية: القبر الأجوف
azərbaycanca: Kenotaf
беларуская: Кенатаф
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кенатаф
български: Кенотаф
català: Cenotafi
Чӑвашла: Кенотаф
čeština: Kenotaf
dansk: Kenotaf
Deutsch: Kenotaph
eesti: Kenotaaf
Ελληνικά: Κενοτάφιο
español: Cenotafio
Esperanto: Cenotafo
euskara: Zenotafio
français: Cénotaphe
Frysk: Senotaaf
한국어: 위령비
hrvatski: Kenotaf
Bahasa Indonesia: Tugu
italiano: Cenotafio
עברית: אנדרטה
ქართული: კენოტაფი
Кыргызча: Кенотаф
latgaļu: Kenotafs
Latina: Cenotaphium
Lëtzebuergesch: Kenotaph
lietuvių: Kenotafas
magyar: Kenotáfium
Bahasa Melayu: Tugu
Nederlands: Cenotaaf
日本語: 慰霊碑
norsk: Kenotaf
polski: Cenotaf
português: Cenotáfio
română: Cenotaf
русский: Кенотаф
српски / srpski: Кенотаф
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kenotaf
suomi: Kenotafi
svenska: Kenotaf
Türkçe: Kenotaf
українська: Кенотаф
中文: 衣冠冢