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Olsanske Cemetery, in "living" color! It was pouring rain & gloomy the day we visited this ancient old cemetery, so my photos were dark & brooding. I therefore decided to turn the cemetery into a colorful garden by swapping the RGB channel when editing. I hope you don't mind ;o)
So this photo journal, part of the Prague series, features Olsanke Cemetery, located on Vinohradská Road in the Vinhorady section of the east side of the city. (The nearby metro station is Flora.)
At 50 hectares, Prague's Olsanske cemetery, which has been described as an open air museum and gallery, is by far the largest graveyard in the city. It is the final resting place of over a million people, including many of the leading figures of the Czech national revival, plus scholars and artists. You will also find the graves of Czech legionaries from the WWI, as well as the graves of Commonwealth and Russian soldiers who lost their lives in Czechoslovak territory during WWII.
The first dead were buried in Olsany in 1680 during a plague. A chapel, now outside the cemetery, commemorates the epidemic. In 1787, Emperor Joseph II made Olsany the central cemetery for Prague. Then located outside the city walls, it was a safer burial place than the old graveyards in an already overcrowded city.
Sadly, this burial ground is often the target of vandals, so some of oldest parts of the cemetery are in very bad repair. But thanks to the efforts of a handful of eager volunteers, the old cemetery is slowly becoming an attractive & informative place for visitors. In the oldest part of the cemetery, where we were, there are small white signboards among the graves with photos and texts paying tribute to some of the long departed in that section & the location of their graves. That's the work of Roman Catholic priest Milos Szabo and his parishioners from the nearby district of Zizkov. Father Milos Szabo is now rediscovering the history with a group of enthusiasts, in their free time, and without any subsidies. His team is also putting new roofs and plaster on some of the dilapidated old tombs.
More info here: http://tinyurl.com/2837xep
article published 12/12/2010