This Dutch university dug a grave for its students (and they love it)

Talk about a perspective shift ⚰️

Ever been so stressed by life that you have to book yourself a timeslot in an open grave? No? Well, Radboud University can offer you that option if you want it.

We’re not kidding.

Known as the “purification grave”, the open grave site can be found behind the university’s chapel. It’s fitted with a comfy yoga mat (with the words “stay weird”), a sign that says “Memento Mori”, and a pretty good view from six feet under.

Oh, and probably some bugs — but who cares.

Ok, but… why?

The grave site is actually an initiative of the university’s chapel — and it’s not exactly new. In fact, the story of the “Purification Grave” started over a decade ago.

In 2009, the chaplaincy decided to dig a grave in its garden in order to allow students the opportunity to lie down and reflect on their lives.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #13: be innovative (and not be shy about it) 

And that’ll certainly do it. According to the chaplaincy’s website, the grave site is “A modern form of memento mori, which means that you are aware that you are mortal.”

The grave was initially temporary and was filled in 2011. However, it proved to be so popular with students that a number of them requested it to be redug.

As a result, in 2019, student pastor John Hacking and secretary of the student church Ilse Hubers grabbed the shovels and got digging once more.

“I think it is important that people have the opportunity to reflect, especially at a time when stress among students is becoming increasingly worse,” Hubers tells Vox.

How does it work?

The idea is pretty simple — you get in the grave and think about your life. However, you are not allowed to bring your phone or your books.

This is not meant to be a quirky place to stalk your ex on Instagram or read Carl Jung (although it may, indeed, trigger ego death). Instead, it’s meant to help you see the bigger picture.

In need of a factory reset? The “Purification Grave” still exists to this day!

All you have to do is book yourself a time slot of anywhere between 30 minutes and three hours by sending an email to the chaplaincy.

They’ll meet you there with the “stay weird” mat and a pillow.

Would you book a slot in the “Purification Grave”? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.


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