Parish cemetery, Opatów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A valuable example of a parish cemetery with about three hundred diverse gravestones from the 19th and early 20th century of high historical and artistic value.

History

In 1791 the Austrian authorities banned the burial on shrinking churchyards. Therefore, in 1804, the municipality purchased land for the new cemetery which started to operate probably in 1805. In 1872 the cemetery was significantly broadened in the southern direction and a stone wall was built. Part of the area accommodated graves of Orthodox Russians, of which only a few survived. In 1881, a chapel of the Zdziennicki family was erected. In 1953 a section of Soviet soldiers died in 1945 was set up. In recent years, the cemetery was extended in the northern direction. In 2004-2005 some maintenance work was carried out in the Red Army soldiers section. In 2010 the cast iron tombstone of Seweryn Horodyski was renovated.

Description

The cemetery is situated in the west part of the city, to the south of the national road no. 74, on a considerable elevation. It is set on a rectangular plan. The area of the cemetery is approximately 4.25 hectares. It is surrounded by a stone wall with a gate on the north-west. The cemetery alleys divide the area length- and cross-wise into eighteen sections. The main alley leads from the gate to Zdziennickis’ chapel; the chapel is rectangular in shape and made of brick. It is plastered and rests on a high foundation. It has a gable roof covered with sheet metal. Its western wall features a statue of Mary Immaculate. In its north part, there is a door with a stone portal bearing the inscription, "Eternal peace and Lord’s mercy forever. Amen.” A plaque above reads, „In Nomine Domini. May God's tears of humbleness find your mercy. Zdziennickis’ chapel consecrated in 1881.” Beside the chapel, there is a cross commemorating the victims of the Katyń massacre. The cemetery reveals more than 100 tombs and tombstones from the 19th century and about 200 from the beginning of the 20th century. The oldest burials are to be found just behind the main gate. The oldest grave is dated 1822. Noteworthy are the cast iron gravestones (of S. Rogozińskiego of 1898, a notary public from Opatów S. Horodyski of 1933). Among the stone tombs, there are numerous statues and sculpture representations: Mary the Mother of God (tomb of A. Darowska of 1865), Mary Immaculate (tomb of F. Muszyński of 1854 and J. Bijasiewicz of 1895), Ecce homo (tomb of W. Kowalski of 1893), Lord’s Passion (tomb of T. Jastrzębjowski of 1879), Crucifix (tomb of J. Denkowski of 1853), Angel of Death (tomb of A. Królikowska of 1870 and M. Wieczorkiewicz of 1901). Moreover, there are tombstones in the shape of fine pedestals topped by a crucifix (tomb of L. Bukowiecki of 1869), Neoclassical obelisks (tomb of S. Zakrzewski of 1879), or "broken" columns and trees (tomb of M. Karnowski 1871), steles with rich bas-relief (tomb of B. Maciejowska of 1853 and F. Juszczykowa of 1934), pedestals (tomb of Sz. Kwiatkowski of 1846 and L. Mirewicz of 1889), shrines (tomb of M. Rządkowski of 1871) and monuments resembling the neo-Gothic style in the form of tapering turrets (tomb of M. Wąs of 1927). Noteworthy is also a group of tombstones of the late 19th century, west of the chapel. In the south part of the cemetery, there are also several Russian graves, mostly from the beginning of the 20th century, although the oldest is dated 1863. Part of the cemetery is the section of fallen Red Army soldiers of 1945; it can be found by the fence in the south-east corner. It is surrounded by a brick wall. It consists of 32 numbered quarters, enclosed with a brick layer at the ground level.

The cemetery is generally accessible.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 01.10.2014.

Bibliography

  • Baradziej M., Opatów. Miasto na bursztynowym szlaku, Kraków 2007, pp. 20-21.
  • Florek M., Zabytkowe cmentarze woj. tarnobrzeskiego, Warszawa 1995, pp. 104-105.
  • ks. Fudalewski W., Miasto Opatów, Opatów 2006, pp. 90.
  • Sabat T., Zub J., Konserwacja zabytkowych cmentarzy [in:] compiled by Cedro J. and others, Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, Kielce 2014, pp. 186.

General information

  • Type: Roman Catholic cemetery
  • Chronology: ok. 1805 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Cmentarna , Opatów
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district opatowski, commune Opatów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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