Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb, Croatia
Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb, Croatia
One of the finest Cemeteries of Europe
See also: FAM (Familiarization) tour of Croatia
Mirogoj Cemetery (Pronounced: Mih – rah – goy) is locted on the northern outskirts of Zagreb and on the foot of the Medvenica Mountains.
Often considered as Europe’s finest cemetery and is a virtual who’s – who of Croatioan history as it contains the graves of many rich and famous Croatian.
The Mirogoj Cemetery was built over a huge plot of land, which once served as the garden house of the famous Croatian linguistic Ljudevit Gaj.
After the death of Ljudevit Gaj in 1872 his land was taken over by the Zagreb town authorities, who decided to built the Mirogoj Cemetery in 1876.
Mirogoj Cemetery was designed by the famous Austrian Architect Hermann Bollé, who also left his mark on most iconic structure of Zagreb, the Zagreb Cathedral.
The actual construction construction started in 1879 with the construction of the northern ans southern arcades, later Hermann Bollé went on to design the cemetery’s morgue.
Hermann Bollé died in 1924 when the construction of the Church of Christ the King, which joined the two arcades, was still on. The construction of the Mirogoj Cemetery was finally completed in 1927.
Consisting of domes, arcades and pavilion the Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb serves as an open air museum.
Mirogoj Cemetery is a secular cemetery and houses bodies of different sects of Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Later Day Saints) but also of other religions including Muslim, Jews and even atheist.
The Mirogoj Cemetery, covering an area of 7 acre, is fronted by a 500 meter long Neo Renaissance arcade, with the gigantic dome of the Christ the King Church, in the middle.
Several hours are necessary for exploring Mirogoj Cemetery, but for tourist with limited time can walk along the arcade and admire the intricate details of the sculptures and epitaph.
The chequred black and white floor, the tall arches and with the butter yellow walls covered with the leaves of the climbing plants makes Mirogoj Cemetery a must visit for tourist visiting Zagreb.
Tourist with more time can make their way through the tree lined walkways past elaborately decorated graves and memorials surrounded by beautiful landscaped garden.
The secular nature of the Mirogoj Cemetery has a special flavor. One can walk past gigantic statues of Moses with Hebrew inscription or past simple Islamic graves with beautiful Arabic calligraphy.
From simple graves of atheist to Roman Catholic graves with elaborately sculptured statues of Christian saints creates an unique sense of harmony. Considering Europe’s or Croatia’s fraught religions history, it was refreshing to see.
Mirogoj Cemetery and contains work of famous sculptors like Ivan Mestrovic and Mihanovic.
Many of Croatian elite lies in eternal rest in the Mirogoj Cemetery. The most well known grave at the Mirogoj Cemetery is the grave of Franjo Tudman, the first president of independent Croatia. The list is pretty long and includes Vladimir Prelog (Nobel Prize winning chemist), Krešimir Ćosić (Croatian and NBA basketball player) and many more including Hermann Bollé, the architect of the Miragoj Cemetery.
On Nov. 1, during the All Souls’ Day, the people of Zagreb visit Mirogoj Cemetery to pay respect to their dead. They light candles and offer flowers and the view of the Mirogoj Cemetery, in night, with the lit candles is something to be remembered for a lifetime.