Muslim cemetery, Kruszyniany
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The site is a unique example of a Muslim burial ground, still in active use today. It has been granted the status of a monument of history due to its outstanding historical value (history and culture of the Polish Tatars).

History

The Muslim cemetery in Kruszyniany was most likely established in the mid-17th century, shortly after the Tatars have settled in the village of Kruszyniany, with a stone perimeter wall being added in the 18th century. It is in this form that the cemetery has survived until 1983, when the site was extended towards the south, with new gates being added to the western wall. A fragment of the southern section of the original perimeter wall was preserved as a remainder of where the boundaries of the cemetery once lay.

Description

The cemetery is located in the middle and eastern part of the village, on a hill located about 250 metres east of the road leading across Kruszyniany. It is surrounded by a stone perimeter wall. The oldest surviving headstones date back to the 17th and 18th century and take the form of undressed stones devoid of any inscriptions. The layout of the graves and headstones is irregular. The oldest headstone in the cemetery is a simple, undressed stone which bears an inscription and the date 1769. The largest group of headstones, however, date back to the 19th century; there are more than 300 surviving headstones from this period in the Kruszyniany cemetery. Whereas the oldest headstones take the form of undressed stones with carved inscriptions in Polish and Arabic, the more recent examples take the form of stone steles with an arched top section, adorned with the crescent symbols and festoons in bas-relief, with inscriptions written in all capitals; after 1863, inscriptions in Cyrillic script also make an appearance. The headstones from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century are clearly modelled after Christian sepulchral monuments. They take the form of polished marble or granite slabs, adorned with stylised Arabic inscriptions.

The historical building is open to visitors.

compiled by Grzegorz Ryżewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 11-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Górska I., Meczety i mizary w Bohonikach i Kruszynianach pomnikami historii, “Biuletyn Konserwatorski Województwa Podlaskiego” 2013, issue 19, 2013, pp. 263-286.
  • Kalisz A., Oleksicki A., Kruszyniany. Studium historyczno-przestrzenne do planu zagospodarowania przestrzennego wsi Kruszyniany, Białystok 1980, pp. 40-41.
  • Kołodziejczyk A., Cmentarze muzułmańskie w Polsce, Warszawa 1998, pp. 52-55.

General information

  • Type: Muslim cemetery
  • Chronology: XVII/XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kruszyniany
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district sokólski, commune Krynki - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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