Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv

19.03.18
Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv

This cemetery is a kind of Père Lachaise of Eastern Europe with the same sort of overgrown grounds and Gothic aura as the famous Parisian necropolis. Established in the late 18th century, it's the place of eternal rest for West Ukraine's prominent figures. Pride of place goes to the grave of the famous nationalist poet Ivan Franko, the patriotic singer-songwriter Volodymyr Ivasyuk and the most recent addition is the memorial to those who died during the Revolution of Dignity in 2013.

Lychakiv Cemetery was opened in 1786 following an imperial Austro-Hungarian ban on burials in church yards, the majority of which were in the center of the town. Their proximity to the population threatened the people with outbursts of plague and other dangerous illnesses. The oldest tombstone in the cemetery dates back to 1675. Though, there are few gravestones from that time. Only a small number – the ones that date back to before the mid-19th century - have survived to this day. That is due to a law of that times that ordered to crush any gravestone that nobody had taken care of for more than 25 years. The crushed gravestones were used to pave the cemetery’s alleys.
Read: Best Excursion Routes in Lvivshutterstock 715357735Today, this cemetery is an open-air museum of memorial sculptures and architecture. The oldest tombstone in the cemetery dates back to 1675. Lychakiv Cemetery is also famous for some 23 beautifully adorned chapels and shrines, which belonged to wealthy Lviv families. On its area of over 40 hectares you will find more than 3000 gravestones, monuments, and vaults. Many of them are not just masterpieces of art, but also important components of cultural and historical heritage. In the 19th century, the famous gardener Karol Bauer created alleyways and paths here, making the cemetery look like a park. In 1991, the necropolis was officially recognized as a historical reserve.shutterstock 715605016Only the town’s wealthy elite, as well as prominent artists, scientists, politicians, servicemen, and members of the clergy were buried here. Prominent sculptors and architects were hired to create monuments for such people, and over time, they turned the cemetery into the real museum. Many of the tombstones are true masterpieces, such as sculpture on the gravestone of actress Regina Markovsksa, known as «Sleeping Beauty» or the tombstone of Armenian archbishop Stefanovych, featuring elements of traditional Armenian sacral architecture. You can trace the history of Lviv and Galicia region by the names of those buried at the cemetery. Several prominent Ukrainians are buried here, including the writer and social activist Ivan Franko and the prominent opera singer Solomiya Krushelnytska. There are several military memorials as well.shutterstock 715604638Read: 5 Reasons to Visit Lviv
Even to this day, the most prominent residents of Lviv are buried in Lychakiv Cemetery, however, this is quite rare.
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