The present research focuses on the use of archetypes and symbols in the design of contemporary European cemeteries. Archetypes are conceived as ancient patterns embedded in the human subconscious, and their role in the architectural design of cemeteries is to promote an understanding of human mortality. The research is focused in particular on the evolution of the typology of European cemeteries from the 19th until the 21st century, starting from the example of the historic cemetery Père Lachaise (Paris) and leading up to the two main types of cemetery architecture in Europe, the Anglo-Saxon cemetery –garden and the Mediterranean type cemetery with its architectural constructions – buildings, resulting in modern trends of dealing with end-of-life issues. In addition, the study correlates the dipole of traditional monumental architectural language in the handling of cemeteries with the new trend of landscape architecture subject to the natural decay of time. In modern European cemeteries, the incorporation of archetypes such as raw natural materials, water and other natural elements dominates design while at the same time signals a new expression of monumentality. Often topography leads modern architects to intervene in forms that can only be understood through an experiential approach.