The Frosty Beauty of Autumn Cemeteries

The Frosty Beauty of Autumn Cemeteries

Discover the melancholic beauty of places full of memories.

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Autumn in the Czech Republic is full of colourful, falling leaves. But it is also the season of cold weather, frequent rain and oncoming winter when the life cycle of nature is slowly ending. Since time immemorial, autumn has been a season when people remember their loved ones who have passed away, visit cemeteries, light candles on the graves and reminisce. Cemeteries are filled with melancholic beauty that reminds us of the inexorable march of time. On the other hand, some cemeteries can be an oasis of peace in the otherwise hectic world beyond the cemetery walls. We would like to point out some of the most interesting cemeteries you can visit in the Czech Republic.

Olšany Cemetery and Vinohrady Cemetery in Prague

If you are interested in funeral tourism, you have to see the Olšany Cemetery and Vinohrady Cemetery in Prague. There are a group of several cemeteries that are in close vicinity and create an oasis of peace and memories near the city centre, at the border of Vinohrady and Žižkov. The first burials took place there at the end of the 17th century and today there are about two million people buried there. The seemingly endless rows of well-kept graves of various forms and sizes are interspersed with old and forgotten tombs covered with carpets of creeping plants. There are also a lot of interesting structures that you can admire at the cemeteries – memorials, chapels, halls of farewell, and columbaria, or even a small Orthodox temple. The most prominent people who rest in peace there are Václav Havel (the Vinohrady Cemetery) or Jan Palach (at Olšany Cemetery). The New Jewish Cemetery in the east part of the area is the largest Jewish cemetery in the Czech Republic, both in terms of the area and the number of gravestones. It is also a place where a number of leading Czech personalities now rest: people important in politics, culture, science and industry. The graves of writers Franz Kafka and Arnošt Lustig are probably the most sought-after places in the New Jewish Cemetery.

The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague

The Old Jewish Cemetery in the centre of Prague is a monument of global importance. It was founded in the first half of the 15th century and together with the Old New Synagogue it is one of the most important preserved monuments in Prague’s Jewish Quarter. There are about 40,000 people buried at the cemetery that was used for more than 300 years. It is assumed that there are several layers of graves there. The most important person buried at the Old Jewish Cemetery is Rabbi Jehuda Liwa ben Becalel, called Rabbi Löw, a religious scholar and teacher.  

Vyšehrad Cemetery – the Cemetery of Czech Luminaries

Vyšehrad on the right bank of the Vltava River is one of the oldest inhabited places in Prague and there are many legends that tell of this area. Therefore, there is a cemetery where you will find the great Czech luminaires – writers, composers, actors, artists, as well as athletes and politicians, such as composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, or writer Karel Čapek.

Malostranský Cemetery in Prague

The cemetery, which is definitely worth mentioning, can be found in the Prague district of Smíchov. It was founded in the 17th century at the time of plague epidemics and has been recently renovated. The appeal of this cemetery lies in the high quality of the local statues, gravestones and sculptures. Many important personalities are buried there, such as the Czech Baroque architects, father and sons, the Dientzenhofers, or romantic artist Antonín Mánes.

The Střílky Baroque Cemetery

The unique baroque cemetery from the mid-18th century can be found in Střílky in Moravia, east of Brno. It is unique thanks to its uniform style of architecture. The baroque decorations include statues of angels, allegories of virtues, good deeds and sins. The experts consider the cemetery to be the jewel of baroque funeral art, which has no parallel near or far.

The Boskovice Jewish Cemetery

The Jewish Cemetery in the Moravian town of Boskovice, which is north of Brno, is one of the largest ones in the country. There are about 2,500 gravestones; the oldest one dates back to 1670. The most significant ones are the Mikulov-type baroque gravestones decorated with rustic-like ornamental elements. Since WWII, there is no longer a Jewish community living in Boskovice, but their cemetery is a place that is worth a visit.