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City Cemetery of Zadar (Zadar, Croatia)

About the cemetery

About the cemetery

The present day City Cemetery of Zadar was established in 1820, the same year the civil city government banned burials within the city walls for fear of spreading disease.

However, at the beginning of 1820 only a large cross was erected in the middle of the parcel over the 11.660 m2 , as well as iron bars for the entrance and security fence.

The first burial in the cemetery dates back to 1821 and the oldest preserved gravestone comes from the year of 1822. The majority of burials were performed without memorial plates or gravestones, so the cemetery was quite unique as there were no plots, paths or greenery.

Wealthy families built walled graves near the enclosure wall, preserved among them is the grave of the Governor of Dalmatia – Francesco Tomasich, who died in 1831.

Over the next few years the cemetery was neglected, no improvements were made until 1844-1845 when the iron fence was repaired and when a new entrence gate was installed replacing the older ruined one.

A chapel on cemetery was finally constructed in 1866 with expenses covered by local municipal authorities, to its left and right arcades with graves constructed, this was paid by local citizens and owners of individual graves within the arcades.

The surface area of the oldest cemetery is approximately 2,2 hectares. Within this area, there are valuable and lovely memorial plates and gravestones, some of which were created by known Croatian sculptor Ivan Rendić (Borelli tomb).

The Orthodox graveyard had its own chapel as well, and the new one was built in 1910 according to the designs of civil engineer Anton Matzenik.

The cemetery was expanded for the first time in 1934, at the same time structures near the entrance and the facade were constructed.

Another expansion of the cemetery happened in 1975, headed by architect Ante Uglešić and landscape arcitect Dragutin Kiš. The new cemetery was divided into fields with an organized layout of graves, the selection of Mediterranean plants was done that each field was specific by its selection of plant specimens.

In 1981, the cemetery was expanded one again, for the purpose of ground burials. Since 2001, new land parcels have been purchased and the cemetry has practically expanded to its maximum size.

The surface area of cemetery totals roughly 11 hectares divided into 10 areas, and every area divided by grave fields. The cemetery houses over 6.000 grave tombs and 1.500 ground burials.