I got goosebumps when I entered the Memorial Amphitheater that lies behind the Tomb and I couldn't tell my friends why because they would have thought I was being disrespectful: I was looking at what must have been the model for Mary GrandPré's artwork on the cover of Deathly Hallows.
Here's a photo of the inside: an open air colonnade with a central area where people can watch a ceremony (no curtains). It all fits perfectly with Mary GrandPré's cover art and what fans have discovered about the funerary purpose of a Hallows.
It is pretty difficult for anyone in Europe to not be aware of war memorials, but Jo has told us herself that she has visited them:
"I’ve always ‘collected’ – that’s to say, remembered - unusual names and finally found a use for them! I love names; sad to say, I really enjoy reading lists of them, for me it’s like casting an eye over a pile of unwrapped presents, each of the names representing a whole person. War memorials, telephone directories, shop fronts, saints, villains, baby-naming books – you name it, I’ve got names from it!" (jkrowling.com FAQs)Here's another quote:
I collect unusual names. I have notebooks full of them. Some of the names I made up, like Quidditch, Malfoy. Other names mean something -- Dumbledore, which means "bumblebee" in Old English ... seemed to suit the headmaster, because one of his passions is music and I imagined him walking around humming to himself. And so far I have got names from saints, place-names, war memorials, gravestones. I just collect them -- I am so interested in names. (Barnes and Noble interview, 1999)So now I am wondering: did Mary GrandPré search for examples of "hallowed ground" as she was designing the cover for Book 7 and hit upon Arlington?