• October 31, 2014
  • 241

The chapel in Bernardine cemetery will be renovated

The renovations of Vilnius Bernardine cemetery chapel are in progress. This news has been announced by Lithuanian Department for Cultural Heritage. The cemetery is on the list of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe.

Almost 200-year old chapel was destroyed by time and vandals. The renovations will take a couple of years during which, the roof of the chapel will be rebuilt, the walls will be restored and the decorative elements will be reconstructed. The chapel will be painted with the original colours. Also the terrace and stairs leading to it will undergo renovation. There will be new window and door frames and a new wooden balustrade.

This year, Department for Cultural Heritage reserved 150 000 lit for the cemetery chapel renovation. The other half was assigned by Vilnius self-government.

Bernardine cemetery in Vilnius is located in a picturesque Zarzecze quarter. It was opened in 1810. The first cemetery was located by Bernardine monastery, in front of St. Anne church. When St. Anne Street was moved to the territory of the cemetery, the cemetery was moved to its present location. The project of Bernardine cemetery square is assigned to Józef Poussier.

The cemetery chapel was built in 1825-1827 also in accordance to Józef Poussier’s design.

Bernardine cemetery is the place of rest of many people who were important for the town: the professors of the University of Vilnius, writers, poets, painters, photographers, actors, musicians, composers, educationalists, teachers, social, educational, political activists, doctors and lawyers, engineers and constructors, priests, clergyman and monks, art historians, military men and rebels of 1863.

The authors of the oldest tombstones are Vilnius artists, among others: J. Rosiński, J. Kozłowski, J. Sobolewski, L. Andruszkiewicz, W. Łabanowski, B. Jacuński, J. Korkuć oraz J. Horbacewicz.

Bernardine cemetery was closed in the 90s’ of previous century and admitted as the complex protected by law. Thanks to the initiative of the Council for Protection of the Memory of Battles and Martyrdom and cooperating with it Polish Foundation for Polish-Lithuanian Cooperation under the name of Adam Mickiewicz, more than 150 tombstones have been renovated till now. The renovations were funded by Polish Government. Vilnius city funded the renovation of a part of the fence and gate, as well as the strengthening of the scarp.

Translated by Aneta Gębska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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