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Old Graveyard - Must on Tour of Zakopane

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Cmentarz na Peksowym Brzyzku (The ''Peksowy Brzyzek'' Cemetery) is situated in Koscieliska Street. Its name is connected with Jan Peksy, the charitable donor of the land where the cemetery is located, whereas ''brzyzek'' – in the local Highlanders' folklore – means the precipice over the brook running just beside the cemetery. Dating back to the middle of the 19th century, the cemetery is often referred to as the Old Graveyard. First, it was a regular cemetery, though the first ever built in Zakopane. From the 1920s onwards, the character of the cemetery changed.

Since then only the notable Zakopane citizens (mountaineers, writers, artists, etc) and those whose family graves are situated here have been buried in this historical cemetery. Since then all the legendary people who thanks to their activities made Zakopane famous have been buried in the Peksowy Brzyzek Cemetery. One can find here the graves of such well-known personalities as Sabala, Stanislaw Marusarz, Tytus Chalubinski, Stanislaw Witkiewicz, and many others both from the early and modern history of Zakopane. Currently, there are as many as 500 graves, half of which are those of the legendary figures of Zakopane.

The cemetery is worth seeing not only for the reason that it is a part of the history of Zakopane and the Podhale region. The other reason is that the graves, usually made in metal, stone and wood, decorated with the crosses and motifs typical of the Podhale region, are unique works of art. There is definitely some magic behind the Old Graveyard – the narrow paths, folkloric sculptures, the stone wall all around, the serenity of the site, etc. It is a  must on the tour of Zakopane!





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