Mystery of the Old Graveyard

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The old graveyard at St. Francis church
Well known people and personalities buried in the old graveyard in Příbor

Little church

The Church of St. Francis was erected in 1622 on the slope over today’s Místecka Street. It was consecrated for a burial ground in 1623.

Mr. Josef Lužný, a man who described all Příbor’s religious sights, writes in his publication that this particular church was built for 8 ducats. The church was fitted with an altar, upstairs at the choir were organs and on the tower there were two small bells.

Not far away from the church stood the famous “linden of rescue”, the tree described in a tale of Swedish invasion on Příbor. It has been cut down in 1831.

St. Francis church has been renovated at the end of 20th  century and on 13th November, 1994 it has been re-opened for public.

Graveyard

On the first sight the graveyard looks very romantic. It has its charm and special atmosphere, even though some of the gravestones are no longer standing in place or have collapsed deeper into the ground, casted iron crosses aren’t standing upright, railings around them are rusty.  Many graves are covered in ivy or moss.

People were buried in that graveyard from 1623.

Today there are 343 graves that we know of. 283 of them have gravestones, crosses or at least their shape is still visible. 59 places are reserved to owners, 32 places figure in register but aren’t assigned to anyone and remaining 192 graves have no owner anymore.

People were being buried in this graveyard mostly from 1623 to 1645. After that date no burial ceremonies were held here anymore. It had to do with the fact that in those times the other Příbor’s church - the Church of Saint Cross was rebuilt (destroyed 1611, re-erected in 1645).

Graveyard at St. Francis church came back to its function in 1720 and it remained to be the only burial ground until 1850. In the middle of 19th century another cemetery was needed. The parish churchyard was not in use for that purpose anymore and there wasn’t enough space at the graveyard at St. Francis church. Therefore after 1849 town has bought a parcel at the road leading to Skotnice and made it to a new graveyard. That’s exactly how the graveyard at St. Francis church gained its name. It started being called “the old graveyard” (whereas the one by the road became a “new” one).  There was hardly anyone buried there here after 1850.

Many significant people have been buried here: a duke, prominent community members like i.e.: town mayors and members of town council, teachers and professors, doctors, architects and other important persons.  

In 1852 Jan and Barbora Raškovi sponsored a stone cross in loving memory of their son Antonín, who took vows to be a priest.

For its whole existence the graveyard was left to its fate. At the moment 50 graves are still being taken care of.

Map of the Old Graveyard

starý hřbitov

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19. 8. 2018

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Day temperatures 28/32°C, around 1000m 13°C.
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