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World War I cemetery, Opatów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

World War I cemetery



A large cemetery of the fallen during World War I and in September 1939 with a regular system of alleys and sections and a monumental crucifix.


The cemetery is reported to have been founded in the 2nd half of 1916 in early 1917. Most probably, however, soldiers had been buried there before. The original plan of the cemetery is not known, but probably its shape and dimensions were not much different from the contemporary ones. In 1918 the Austrian authorities exhumed and moved the remains of Capt. Franciszek Pększyc from the parish graveyard in Baćkowice to Opatów. They were interred in the collective grave of the officers of the Austro-Hungarian army. It is not sure whether along with Capt. Pększyc also three other legionnaires buried in Boćkowice were transferred: Sec. Lieut. Jakub Darocha, Sec. Lieut. Julian Bagniewski and Cpl. Paweł Czyż. In the 1920s, the cemetery was surrounded with a fence of barbed wire on wooden poles and had 13 mass graves. In the 1930s, the remains of Capt. Pększyc were moved again to his present grave, although it is not clear whether the right person was exhumed. Perhaps the grave is only symbolic, and the fallen hero still lies in one of the nameless graves. At the beginning of 1939, the cemetery was scheduled for aggregation, i.e. there was a plan to move here the remains of soldiers from other neighboring burial grounds, for example, from the graveyard near the hospital in Opatów and the cemeteries in Karwów and Kochówek. The plan was supposedly completed by the spring of 1939. In 1973 the cemetery was cleared and renovated. Crucifixes topped with white eagles without the crown were installed on the existing 23 graves. It was no earlier than in the 1990s when the cemetery began to take its current shape. The Opatów Municipality undertook restoration works, involving the installation of 22 Maltese crosses with crowned eagles over the graves. The area was surrounded with a fencing mesh.


The cemetery is situated in the west part of the city, to the south of the national road no. 74, on a considerable elevation in Cmentarna Street. It touches on the Roman Catholic cemetery on the south. The cemetery has a trapezoid plan of ​​about 0.17 hectares, approx. 25 by 50 m. The cast iron fence supported by clinker brick posts stands on a concrete base. Two main cemetery allays cross in the middle and one more runs around the yard along the fence. In the heart of the cemetery, there is a stone cross on an elevated base with the inscription, "Capt. Franciszek Pększyc Grudziński, Commander of the 2 Company, VI Battalion of the Polish Legions. Fell near Żerniki on 3 June 1915.” Besides, the area covers regularly spaced 22 mass graves, separated by a small wall of bricks, numbered and marked by metal crosses resembling Maltese crosses, with a shield bearing a resemblance to a stylized eagle. Buried here are the soldiers killed during World War I (113 German soldiers, 722 Austro-Hungarian soldiers and 94 Russian soldiers), Legionnaires of the 1st Brigade of Józef Piłsudski and Polish Army soldiers died in September 1939. According to the records available at the Municipal Office in Opatów, among the buried there are also the soldiers of the Polish People's Army, and the victims of the Nazi terror from the years 1939-1945. Other sources also report that the cemetery is also the burial ground for the Polish soldiers of the 1920 war against the Bolsheviks who died of wounds in the Opatów hospital. This, however, is not certain.

The cemetery is generally accessible.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 02.12.2014.


  • Florek M., Zabytkowe cmentarze woj. tarnobrzeskiego, Warszawa 1995, pp. 107, photo 27 and 28.
  • Lis M., Cmentarze i mogiły I wojny światowej na terenie Opatowa,

General information

  • Type: cemetery
  • Chronology: 1916/1917 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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