Old Catholic cemetery, Kielce
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A uniform complex of religious cemeteries, bearing witness to life of a number of generations of people making history of Kielce and the region, with numerous cast iron gravestones preserved.  

History

The cemetery was created in the early 19th century. Originally, it was surrounded by a wooden fence, and thereafter, in the 20s of the 19th century, by a stone fence. It was primarily dominated by earth graves and the first permanent gravestones originate from the 30s of the 19th century. In that time, a separate Evangelical cemetery (currently municipal cemetery) was also created next to it.  In 1857, an Orthodox cemetery came into being (one of very few preserved historical complexes of Orthodox gravestones in Central Poland), and next to it, a plot was designated for fallen Muslim soldiers serving in the Russian army. In 1919, part of the Orthodox cemetery was started to be used to bury soldiers fallen in the Polish-Soviet war. In the 1930s, a cemetery of the Polish Army 1863-1921 was created. Near to it, there are grave plots of soldiers of the Polish Army fallen in 1939 and a war cemetery of soldiers of the Soviet Army 1944-1945. In years 1953-58, on the side of the city centre, a cemetery of soldiers of the Home Army and victims of Nazi terror was established, the so-called Partisan Cemetery. In that way, a uniform complex of religious cemeteries with adjoining war cemetery was created. In 1993, an inventory of the cemetery was carried out, and in the next years, more than 100 stone gravestones were safeguarded against destruction, and a couple dozen cast iron monuments from the 19th century and more than a hundred stone monuments underwent conservation works.

Description

The cemetery is located in the southern part of the city, at P. Ściegienny Street, on the site of a former bishop manor farm, "Psiarnia", by a sculpture of St. Joseph. Originally, it was located outside the city. The central part of the cemetery complex is occupied by a Catholic cemetery. On the south, it borders an Orthodox cemetery and an uprising veterans and Soviet soldiers cemetery; on the north — a municipal cemetery and a Partisan Cemetery. Its area is divided into plots crossed by alleys. A couple thousand graves can be found here, of which approx. 1000 originate from the period before 1939. The oldest graves come from the 30s of the 19th century (among other things, the epitaph plaque of J. Miernicka, cast iron gravestone of M. Pożarska, stone gravestone of K. Meyzer). In the cemetery, there are approximately 70 cast iron gravestones (of F. Kowalski, J. Popielicka and J. MacConnal, among others), made in the works in Białogon or works by the river Kamienna; numerous neo-Classicist graves reminiscent of Roman sarcophagi, in the form of stelae, plinths topped with an urn (tombs of Marro and Plewiński families), obelisks or broken columns; figural gravestones with sculptures of angels, mourners, or saints (grave of W. Radziejkowski presenting a man in nobility clothing); neo-Gothic gravestones in the form of slender shrines (I. Z. Smoleński). A real pearl of the cemetery is the Art Nouveau gravestone of Róża nee Poznański Mayzel shaped as a sitting woman in a long dress, wringing hands in a sorrowful gesture against the background of a wall of red sandstone. In addition, one can found here family tombs shaped as cuboid edifices, with doors leading to the chamber, three chapels (neo-Baroque chapel of 1845 of the Malinowski family, chapel of the Łącki family, and chapel of bishops suffragans), symbolic graves, plaques commemorating the victims of Nazi terror, people murdered in Soviet prison camps, a Monument to the Victims of Siberian Exile, and on the Partisan Cemetery — a Katyn Monument, a monument to the victims of Nazi concentration camps, a plaque of the soldiers of the National Military Organisation, a cross and a rock commemorating Henryk Dobrzański "Hubal", a grave with remnants of Stefan Artwiński, president of Kielce, murdered in 1939, and by the Orthodox cemetery, there is a plot of the soldiers serving in the inter-war period in the 4th Infantry Regiment of the Polish Legions and the 2nd Light Artillery Regiment.

The cemetery is generally accessible.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 22.08.2014.

Bibliography

  • Oettingen U., Ratujmy zabytki kieleckich cmentarzy, Kielce 1994.
  • Oettingen U., Kieleckie „miasto umarłych” [in:] Kielce przez stulecia, Kielce 2014, pp. 283-288.
  • Sabat T., Prace konserwatorskie przy zabytkowych nagrobkach prowadzone w latach 1990-2000 na terenie województwa świętokrzyskiego i dawnego kieleckiego [in:] Piasecka A. (ed.) Prace konserwatorskie w latach 1990-2000. Dziesięć lat Służby Ochrony Zabytków w Kielcach, Kielce 2001, pp. 101-102.
  • Sabat T., Zub J., Konserwacja zabytkowych cmentarzy [in:] Cedro J. (ed.), Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, Kielce 2014, pp. 181-183.
  • Sabatowie T. Z., „Sabat” dla cmentarzy. Cmentarz Stary w Kielcach. Przewodnik po wybranych grobach ludzi zasłużonych dla regionu, Kielce 1995.
  • Szczepański J., Cmentarze kieleckie, Kielce 1982.
  • Szczepański J., Cmentarz katolicki „stary” w Kielcach, Kielce 1985.

General information

  • Type: Roman Catholic cemetery
  • Chronology: początek XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: P. Ściegiennego , Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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