Cemetery of Lost Cemeteries – Gdańsk, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Cemetery of Lost Cemeteries

Memorial to the lost dead of Gdansk, whose resting places were destroyed during World War II. 


Before World War II broke out, the Polish city of Gdansk was home to 27 different graveyards and a necropolis. All of those were destroyed during the war or bulldozed after it. Decades later, on May 24, 2002, this small memorial site was opened to commemorate those who had previously been buried throughout the city.

Designed by Jacek Krenz and Hanna Klementowska to resemble a temple, the cemetery of lost cemeteries features sculptures by Witold Gluchowski and Zygfryd Korpalski.

Echoing a traditional temple’s interior, the colonnade of trees at the site creates an atmosphere that recalls a church’s main nave and side aisles. The large granite slab at the center of the memorial is meant to form both a symbolic tomb and sacrificial altar. The stone columns that surround the granite are in the shape of tree trunks and were designed to symbolize withered trees that died long ago.

The main memorial at the site is surrounded by a number of broken gravestones that are meant to represent all faiths. The site includes a poem by Mascha Kaleko, whose poetry was destroyed on direct orders from Adolf Hitler in 1933.

Know Before You Go

Located between the Church of Corpus Christi and the bus station.

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December 6, 2010

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