Visit Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum
Bellefontaine Cemetery is St. Louis’ first rural cemetery and began during an international movement to transform burial practice in America. The rural cemetery movement sought to establish a park-like setting in urban centers where the dead could rest in peace. It also allowed for visitors to reflect and remember their loved ones in a natural setting and away from the distractions of the city. As cities grew and flourished during the early nineteenth century, the land set aside for cemeteries grew increasingly valuable.
In addition to being a cemetery, Bellefontaine is a Level II Accredited Arboretum, and listed in the Morton Register of Arboreta. The Arboretum supports and enhances the cemetery as a place of perpetual commemoration, as well as a gorgeous garden that is both inspirational and of historic significance.
Bellefontaine has a diverse horticultural collection, and is an important natural sanctuary and habitat for wildlife in an urban environment. It is the only accredited arboretum in the city of St. Louis.