World War I cemetery, Pińczów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The region’s most beautiful and one of the largest World War I cemetery with stone elements of the monumental nature and antique-like style of architecture (approx. 1,000 fallen soldiers are buried here).

History

The cemetery was founded in 1917 and 1918. Cast-iron crucifixes were installed, the area was walled in and a small commemorative structure was erected with an opening in the ceiling and side walls; in the interwar period, the structure, considered an unfinished chapel, was transformed into a chapel-mausoleum with a crucifix and an altar. After World War 2, the chapel and the wall were renovated and cemetery sections were created. Probably at that time, the plaque dedicated to the Unknown Soldier, originally located beneath the monument of the 3rd of May Constitution, was installed. 26 June 1983 saw the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to members of the Pińczów Troop of the Grey Ranks. In 1987 at the entrance to the cemetery, the local branch of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society named SABAT placed an information board, later replaced with a new one. Between 2006 and 2007, the chapel, wall, steps and pavement were thoroughly renewed.

Description

The cemetery is located at Grodziskowa Street, behind the Roman Catholic cemetery from the east; it sits on the slope of a hill, approximately 500 m to the east from Market Square and the church. It has a trapezoid plan, stretching towards the north-east, with the south-east corner slightly rounded. The longest side is approximately 118 m long, the average width of the cemetery is approximately 22 m. The cemetery is surrounded by a wall of quarry limestone with a cement topping. There is an access gate in the south-west corner from the Roman Catholic cemetery; the iron grid of the gate bears the dates 1914-1915. The entrance alley splits into two paths which - both along the wall - lead to the chapel located on a terraced area. In the south part of the cemetery, the are two sections along the east and west wall with a total of 55 cast iron crucifixes. Between the alleys in the north-east part, there are 24 rows of sections with 247 crucifixes, separated by paving slabs. The cemetery reveals both Latin and Russian crosses, the latter being different from typical Orthodox crucifixes and symbolizing the fallen soldiers serving in the Russian army who were not of the Orthodox persuasion but may have been Catholics, Jews or Muslims. The fallen are 497 Russian, 432 Austro-Hungarian and 9 German soldiers, including those exhumed in 1937 from the war cemeteries in Kije and Skowronno Górne. Besides, there are six later graves and a grave and memorial of the Red Army soldiers in the shape of a semi-circular wall of quarry sandstone on a concrete base, with a 5-pointed star and plaque. The chapel is built of dimension stone. It has a square plan of 4.8 x 4.8 m. It is covered by a hip roof of sheet metal, topped with an iron crucifix. The chapel opens to the cemetery with an arcade with an iron, openwork tri-panel gate with stylized crucifixes. The side walls have openings in the shape of the Greek cross, the ceiling features a groin vault. Above the altar stone, there is a wooden cross. On the left, there is a stone plaque reading, “To the Unknown Soldier, Pińczów, 20 September 1925”; on the right, there is a marble plaque dedicated to the members of the Pińczów Troop of Grey Ranks murdered in 1943 by the Germans.

The cemetery is generally accessible.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 26.11.2014.

Bibliography

  • Kaczanowski L., Paprocki W., Miejsca pamięci narodowej1939-1945 w województwie kieleckim, Kielce 1989, pp. 263-264.
  • Oettingen U., Cmentarze I wojny światowej w województwie kieleckim, Warszawa-Kraków 1988, pp. 177-183.
  • Sabatowie T. and Z., „Sabat” dla cmentarzy, vol.3: Cmentarze Pińczowskie, Kielce 1996, pp. 88-102.
  • 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. 187.

General information

  • Type: cemetery
  • Chronology: 1917-1918 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Grodziskowa , Pińczów
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district pińczowski, commune Pińczów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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