Municipal cemetery, Cieszyn
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Municipal cemetery

Cieszyn

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The municipal cemetery in Cieszyn is one of the most valuable and best preserved complexes of this type in the region. Currently, it is also the largest cemetery the city, in which many eminent and distinguished persons connected with the history of the city and the Cieszyn Silesia region are buried. The complex is also valuable due to its clear and unaltered historical layout and its well-preserved, historic graves, being important examples of funerary art from the late 19th century and the 1st half of the 20th century on a regional scale.

History

The establishment of the municipal cemetery in Cieszyn was necessitated by the fact that in the late 19th century, the parish graveyard by the Church of St George could offer no more space for graves. Opened in 1891, the municipal cemetery was laid out according to designs of the municipal engineers Leonard Hulk i Markus Dolf. In 1935, the so-called Pantheon of Merit was erected in the central part of the cemetery which was to be occupied by a cemetery chapel according to the original design. It has the form of a colonnaded pergola and was designed by Alfred Wiedermann. First in 1970 and then in 1991, the cemetery was enlarged on the north side.

Description

The cemetery is situated in the northern part of the town centre, on the east side of Katowicka Street. The complex has the shape of an elongated, irregular polygon divided into square sections arranged along the axis of the main avenue running from the gate building, from the south to the north. The particular sections are defined by avenues running parallel and perpendicular to the main avenue. The representative Baroque Revival gate building, situated in the south part of the cemetery, consists of three parts: the central part, performing the role of a passageway, and two wings, containing a chapel, a morgue, and administrative rooms and communicated with the central part. The dominant central part, built on a square floor plan and protruding to the front, is topped with a dome on a high octagonal tholobate. The interior of the building, just like the external façades, is divided into three axes by means of four symmetrically spaced pillars supporting the tholobate with openings shedding light onto the passageway. The entrance passageway to the cemetery runs through the centre of the building, with entrance openings for pedestrians on both sides. The walls of the passageway are adorned with two original stucco plaquettes with reliefs depicting the entombment and resurrection of Christ. On both sides, the side wing and the section connecting the side wing with the central part form the shape of letter “L”. They are much lower than the central part. The side wings are topped with attics with balustrades. There are many artistically and historically valuable graves and crosses, as well as small architectural structures, in the cemetery. Each section in the southern (oldest) part of the cemetery is designated by a historic division plate made of cast iron. On the axis of the entrance gate, in the southern part of the cemetery, there is a stone cross from 1891, commemorating the establishment of the cemetery. Along the main avenue, in the central part of the complex, there is the so-called Pantheon of Merit, having the form of a curved, colonnaded pergola. It was designed by A. Wiedermann. The spaces between the columns are occupied by graves of prominent residents of the city, including Karol Miarka, Paweł Stalmach, Rev. Ignacy Świeży, Rev. Józef Londzin, Władysław Michejda, Franciszek Popiołek, and Gustaw Morcinek. In the northern part of the cemetery, there is also a section with graves of Austrian soldiers from World War I, a mass grave of persons murdered at the Jewish cemetery in Cieszyn during World War II, and a section with graves of Wehrmacht soldiers who died in the years 1939-1945. The layout of the cemetery is complemented by a rich variety of plants — several dozen species of trees and shrubs, including lindens, maples, poplars, and thujas.

The cemetery is open every day.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 23-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Iwanek W., Cieszyńskie nekropolie, Kalendarz Cieszyński 1900, Cieszyn 1989.
  • Karta cmentarza Cmentarz komunalny [w Cieszynie], opr. P. Kokotkiewicz, 1985, Archiwum NID.
  • Kwaśny I., Cmentarz komunalny w Cieszynie, Cieszyn 2009.
  • Sosna W., Szlakiem pamiątek ewangelików cieszyńskich, Cieszyn 2009.
  • Zabytkowe cmentarze i mogiły w Polsce, woj. Bielsko-Biała, red. A. Michałowski, E. Bartman, Warszawa 1995.

General information

  • Type: cemetery
  • Chronology: 1891 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Katowicka , Cieszyn
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district cieszyński, commune Cieszyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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