Parish cemetery, Bychawka Pierwsza
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The cemetery serves as the final resting place for the local nobility - the owners of the nearby manors, including members of the Rohland and Stadnicki families as well as the poet Kajetan Koźmian. The oldest surviving headstones date back to the first half of the 19th century.

History

The cemetery was established back in 1802, at a distance of 20 metres to the west from the local parish church, on the other side of a local road leading from Bychawka to Strzyżewice. The cemetery occupies a rectangular plot of land, its dimensions being 187 x 60 metres. Originally, the cemetery was a typical rural burial ground with a simple spatial layout demarcated by a number of footpaths intersecting at right angles and forming quadrangular burial plots. Over the years, the cemetery grew in size, gradually expanding towards the north. The first expansion took place after World War I, when Józef Piłsudski, the Chief of State, adopted the decision on the expropriation of the owner of the adjoining plot of land.

In 1833, a picket fence was built around the cemetery; later on, the fence was replaced by a perimeter wall made of limestone. In 1848, count Juliusz Stadnicki funded the construction of a tomb chapel for the members of his family. The structure, designed in the Gothic Revival style, was located in the centre of the necropolis. The oldest known graves date back to the first half of the 19th century; these include the grave of Maryanna Wilkołazka (1835) or Rozalia Dąbrowska (1838). From the second half of the 19th century, the cemetery began to serve as the final resting place for the members of the Rohland family, the owners of the village of Bychawka who have made numerous contributions to the life of the local community. One of the most eminent individuals to be buried in the cemetery was Kajetan Koźmian - a poet, translator and the owner of the nearby village of Piotrowice.

Description

The old Roman Catholic cemetery lies at a distance of 20 metres to the west from the local parish church, on the other side of a local road leading from Bychawka to Strzyżewice. Designed on a rectangular plan, the old burial ground forms the southern part of the current, much larger parish cemetery. The southern boundary of the graveyard is marked by a stone wall, while a metal fence with brick posts leads along the eastern border thereof. The site is accessible through a gate located in the eastern part of the fence. Despite the intervening changes, the cemetery has survived substantially intact in terms of its character, as it still bears resemblance to a typical rural necropolis with a simple spatial layout, with the Gothic Revival tomb chapel of the Stadnicki family situated in the very centre.

The chapel itself is situated on a slightly elevated part of the terrain, at the end of an unpaved path leading from the east. It was designed on a rectangular floor plan. It is a single-storey, cuboid structure with a three-sloped roof and a crypt underneath. The building is made of brick and limestone, its walls covered with plaster (with the exception of the front façade). The wooden door and windows are topped with pointed arches. The front façade features a pointed-arch portal flanked by two decorative fields reminiscent of slender false windows, framed with bar tracery and connecting seamlessly with the overhanging pointed-arch arcaded frieze in the top section of the gable. The entrance is positioned on the middle axis of the façade; above the entrance there is a cornice which partially follows the shape of the portal below and features a simplified, trefoil-like cross in the middle. Further above there is an escutcheon bearing the Szreniawa coat of arms of the Stadnicki family and the associated inscription as well as a tiny, pointed-arch false window.

North of the chapel lies the grave of Kajetan Koźmian and his daughter-in-law, consisting of two concrete slabs positioned some distance apart, with a small, stone cross occupying the space between them. Each of the concrete slabs features a marble inscription plaque. The entire ensemble is surrounded by a cast iron fence designed in the Gothic Revival style.

A similar neo-Gothic fence was used for the burial plot allocated to the Rohland family which lies south of the chapel. The most intriguing of all headstones found therein is the one commemorating Konstancja Rzeszotagska née Rohland, who died in 1859. The headstone in question is made of sandstone and black marble and takes the form of a large cylinder entwined with oak branches and topped with a cross perched atop a finial which rises above a cupola made of acanthus leaves, with the entire design being supplemented by a horizontal inscription plaque.

Many of the historic headstones are Classicist efforts, relatively simple in architectural terms, made during the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century.

Property of the Roman Catholic parish of St John the Baptist. The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Anna Sikora-Terlecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 13-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Dębowczyk M., Barańska-Grudzień Z., Historia kościoła i cmentarza w Bychawce, [in:] Dębowczyk M. (ed.), Stare cmentarze rzymskokatolickie w Bychawie i Bychawce, Bychawa 1999, pp. 111-120.
  • Trzewik M., Dokumentacja fotograficzna i opis wybranych nagrobków w zabytkowej części cmentarza w Bychawce, [in:] Dębowczyk M. (ed.), Stare cmentarze rzymskokatolickie w Bychawie i Bychawce, Bychawa 1999, pp. 121-158.

General information

  • Type: Roman Catholic cemetery
  • Chronology: 1802
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bychawka Pierwsza
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district lubelski, commune Bychawa - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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