Tatar cemetery - mizar, Studzianka
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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One of the few surviving Tatar cemeteries in Poland, believed to have been originally established in the late 17th century.

History

The Muslim cemetery in Studzianka was most likely founded after 1679, when king John III Sobieski allowed the Tatars to take up residence in the Brześć ekonomia (a name used to describe a part of the royal demesne which served the crown itself as opposed to being allocated to individual aldermen). At that time, the village of Studzianka formed part of the crown land in question. Over the years, members of many distinguished Tatar families (including the Bielak, Azulewicz, Lisowski and Aleksandrowicz families) have found their final resting place here. The cemetery was originally circumscribed by a trench. In years 1935-1936, a fence was erected around the burial ground. Most of the work was done by volunteers. The final burial took place here in 1938; the cemetery was abandoned during World War II and no burials have taken place here ever since. Over the years, the cemetery site continued to fall victim to vandalism and neglect, with many headstones becoming damaged as a result. The process of devastation has begun right after World War I has come to an end. Today, the cemetery site is properly secured and kept in good order. Information plaques have been placed outside the cemetery. The burial ground remains under the care of the Łomazy Commune Authorities as well as of the monument protection services. It is a unique site that remains popular among the tourists who visit the region.

Description

The Muslim cemetery is located in a pine forest, on a small hill; behind the hill and the meadows beyond trickles a narrow stream known as Zielawa. The cemetery itself is located at a distance of 0.5 kilometres to the west of the village of Studzianka, on the left hand side of the road from Łomazy to Ortel Królewski. It occupies a polygonal area of about 0.8 hectares. The cemetery is surrounded by a fence made up of metal spans, with a gate positioned in the eastern section thereof.

The layout of the quarters and alleys has become obscured over the ages. A total of 160 sandstone grave markers survive in the cemetery, all of them facing east according to Muslim tradition.

The oldest of these headstones dates back to 1747, with 19th-century grave markers being the most numerous today. A recurring feature of many headstones is the crescent - a symbol of Muslim faith, accompanied by a five-pointed star. Verses from the Quran are also frequently inscribed on the surface of the headstones. In some cases, the rosette - a symbol of the sun or the stars - is also used. The inscriptions on the headstones, clearly legible despite the passage of time, are written in both Polish, Russian and Arabic. The inscriptions on the oldest headstones can often no longer be recognised, however, and the majority of the headstones have partially sunk into the soil below as time went by. Right outside the gate there is an information sign and a stone with an embedded plaque which commemorates the allocation of these lands to the Tatar community by king John III Sobieski.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Anna Sikora-Terlecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 03-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Jadczak St., Śladami Tatarów na Podlasiu, Lublin [no date of publication available], pp. 3, 11-14.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 2, Powiat bialski, compiled by Kolendo-Kaczorowska Katarzyna, Oleńska Anna, Zgliński Marcin, Warsaw 2006, pp. 219-220
  • Kołodziejczyk A., Tatarskie cmentarze w Lebiedziewie i Studziance, [in:] Prace Archiwalno - Konserwatorskie na terenie województwa siedleckiego, issue 3, Siedlce 1982, pp. 22-32.
  • Kołodziejczyk A., Cmentarze muzułmańskie w Polsce, “Studia i materiały. Cmentarze”, 7(10), Warsaw 1998, pp. 68-74

General information

  • Type: Muslim cemetery
  • Chronology: 1680 - 1939
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Studzianka
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district bialski, commune Łomazy
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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