Powazki Cemetery

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Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery (Polish Cmentarz powązkowski) is the oldest and most famous cemetery in Warsaw, Poland, which is situated in the western part of the city. It contains a mausoleum with memorials to many of the greats in Polish history including many interred since 1925 along the "Avenue of the Meritorious" (Aleja Zasłużonych, est. 1925)). It has also a very large military section for the graves of those who fought and died for their country in the past 200 years including the large number of those involved in the ill-fated Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis during World War II, the Battle of Warsaw and the September Campaign.



As a matter of fact, the Powązki is a necropoly consisting of a whole complex of cemeteries. In 1790 most cemeteries in the Warsaw city centre were closed due to sanitary reasons and a new Catholic cemetery in the western suburb of Powązki was created. Soon afterwards several other cemeteries were founded in the area: Jewish, Calvinist, Lutheran, Caucassian and Tatar. Not far away from the Powązki necropoly, the Orthodox cemetery is located.

The lates addition to the complex was the so-called Military cemetery, currently known as the Communal cemetery. It was founded in 1912 as an annex to the Catholic cemetery, but after Poland regained her independence in 1918 it became the state cemetery, where some of the most notable people of the epoch were buried, regardless of their faith. Like many of the old European cemeteries, Powązki's tombstones were created by some of the most renowned sculptors of the era, both Polish and foreign. Some of them are excellent examples of various styles in architecture and art.

On Zaduszki (November 1) in Warsaw, vigils are held not only in the Roman Catholic cemeteries, but in the Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox cemeteries as well. At Powązki cemetery, all the graves are decorated with candles.

A large part of the Powązki Cemetery is occupied by graves of Polish soldiers who fell in the Warsaw Uprising. Most of the graves were exhumated between 1945 and 1953 from the streets of Warsaw. In many cases the name of the soldiers remains unknown and the graves are marked only by the number of the Polish Red Cross identification number. Until the early 1950s, brothers in arms of many fallen soldiers organised exhumation of their colleagues on their own and there are many quarters where soldiers of specific units are buried. There are also several mass graves of (mostly unknown) civilian victims of German terror during World War II and the Warsaw Uprising located in the cemetery.

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Graves of Polish soldiers who fell in the Polish Defence War of 1939

Notable people

A few of the notables buried here are:

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Graves of Polish soldiers fallen in the Warsaw Uprising

The Jewish Cemetery, located on Okopowa Street next to the Protestant Cemetery and near the Powazki necropolis, was established between 1799 and 1806. Some of the prominent Jewish citizens buried here are:


See also:

fr:Cimetičre de Powazki pl:Powązki


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