The Gravestones That Clasp Hands Over the Religious Divide

In the 19th century, the Dutch lived with Pillarisation — a policy which separated public establishments by religious and political affiliations. That presented a problem for one couple. Josepina van Aefferden was a Protestant, and Jacob Van Gorkum was a Catholic. They were married for 40 years, until Jacob died in 1880. Eight years later, when Josepina died, she was not allowed to be buried with her husband because of the strict segregation policies in place. However, she had made it clear that she didn’t want to be buried in her family tomb, instead wanting to be as close to her husband as possible. As a result, Josepina’s grave was placed on the opposite side of the cemetery wall from Jacob's grave. Now there's a pair of hands between the graves, reaching out to each other over the brick wall, symbolizing the couple’s eternal love despite the societal barriers that separated them.