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Entries / Cemeteries (entry)

Cemeteries (entry)

Categories / City Services/Cemeteries (see also Architecture and Urban Planning)
Categories / Architecture/Cemeteries (see also Municipal Economy)

CEMETERIES. Even before the foundation of St. Petersburg there were several necropolises on the location of the future city: the records of the beginning of the 18th century indicate a Finnish-Swedish cemetery at Elagin (Aptekarsky) Island (abolished in 1756). Old Bolsheokhtinskoe Cemetery, founded in 1722, seems to be situated on site of Nyenschantz Town Cemetery. In the first years of St. Petersburg’s existence, burials took place near churches in accordance with Russian tradition. The first city cemetery was founded in 1710 near St. Sampson’s Church on Viborgskaya Side (see St. Sampson’s Cathedral). Burial places were given for free. At the same time a German cemetery for the members of foreign Christian confessions was arranged to the south of Sampsonyevskoe Orthodox cemetery. At Sampsonyevskoe Orthodox Cemetery were buried: the so called Princely-Priest of the Vseshuteishy Gathering (held under Peter the Great and designed to mix revelry with business) P.I. Buturlin, the Governor of Siberia, Prince M.P. Gagarin, the author of “On Poverty and Wealth”, I.T. Pososhkov, architect A.F. Kokorinov; at the German Cemetery, architects D. Trezzini, B.K. and F. Rastrelli, J. Le Blond, N. Michetti, the first academician L.L. Blumentrost, C. Goldbakh, G. Bayer (the tomb has not preserved). Both cemeteries were abolished in 1772 (see also First Builders of Petersburg Monument). In 1719-56 there was Yamskoe Krestovozdvizhenskoe Cemetery (it was situated on site of household, at 128 Ligovsky Avenue). Later in the area of Volkova Village, Volkovskoe cemeteries appeared. In the 18th century, burials took place also at Preobrazhenskoe Cemetery in Kotlivskaya Settlement (80 Novoladozhskaya St.), Voznesenskoe Cemetery at Perevedenskie Settlement (34 Voznesensky Avenue - both were abolished in 1738), Kalinkinskoe Cemetery (Staro-Petergofsky Avenue; abolished in 1746), Spaso-Bocharinskoe and the old Bogoslovskoe Cemetery on Viborgskaya Side (abolished in the 1770s). In 1738, the Synod affirmed five places where burials were to take place, of which only the cemetery on Vasilievsky Island has survived. (see Smolenskoe Cemeteries). In the 18th century, aristocratic necropolises of Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Holy Trinity & St. Sergius Hermitage, the Imperial burial vault in SS. Peter&Paul Cathedral and Komendantskoe Cemetery nearby were formed. Novodevechye Cemetery at Novodevechy Convent was of high social status. Over the years other cemeteries have been established: from the 1720s, there was a cemetery at Okhtensky Powder Plants (today, Porokhovskoe Cemetery), from the 1730s, Preobrazhenskoe Cemetery at the porcelain plant (destroyed in the 1930s), from 1768, Old Believers Malookhtenskoe Cemetery (8 Novocherkassky Avenue); and from 1776, Krasnenkoe Cemetery (98 Stachek Avenue). In 1773 it was transferred to the site of what is currently Bolsheokhtenskoe Cemetery (5 Metallistov Avenue). Foreign confessions (German, Evangelic and Lutheran) cemeteries were usually situated near the Orthodox ones such as the Smolenskoe German Cemetery founded in 1748), Volkovskoe German Cemetery (founded in 1773). In 1856, Vyborgskoe Roman Catholic Cemetery at Arsenalnaya Street was founded. In 1856-57, the St. Mary Roman Catholic Church was built there (architect N.L. Benois). In 1939, this cemetery was completely destroyed. In 1791, the Armenian Cemetery was founded (29 Smolenka Embankment; see Smolenskie Cemeteries), in 1827, the Muslim Cemetery (today, Novo-Volkovskoe, 80 Salova Street), in 1873, the Jewish Cemetery were established. Among the suburban cemeteries of the 18th century, Troitskoe Cemetery in Old Peterhof (founded in the 1720s, today practically destroyed), Kazanskoe Cemetery in Tsarskoe Selo, and the city cemetery of Palvovsk, are the most famous. During the cholera epidemic of 1830-31 the Choleric Cemetery was created. In 1835, the development of Mitrofanyevskoe Cemetery started near it. It had a Finnish Lutheran section, and Old Believers' Gromovskoe Cemetery was situated to the south of it (it was preserved while other cemeteries were completely destroyed in the 1930s-50s). In 1841, a plot for Bogoslovskoe Cemetery was allotted. In the same year, the payment for burial place according to rank (from 1st to 7th, the two last ones were usually for free; at monastery cemeteries the number of ranges did not exceed three) was introduced for city cemeteries. In 1854 and 1868, the commissions studying cemeteries' state were functioning, and by their recommendation two new large necropolises, of the city government competence, were organized: Preobrazhenskoe (1871, see Memorial Cemetery to the Victims of 9th January) and Uspenskoe (1875, see Severnoe Cemetery). Since 1905, Serafimovskoe Cemetery exists. On 23 March (5 April) 1917 in the beds of honour at the Field of Mars 184 men, who had perished in street fights during the February Revolution were buried. Burials commemorating participants of the Revolution and Civil War also took place at Communist sites in other parts of the city (see Monuments to Victims of the Revolution). On 7 December 1918, according to the decree of the Council of People's Commissaries, all the cemeteries moved to the competence of local Soviets (councils), the church was forced out of cemeteries' governance, payment ranks were abolished. In 1927, a number of city cemeteries were closed for burials, later, they were destroyed and seriously reduced in territory under the pretence of redevelopment and land acquisition for housing development, sport and industrial construction (the ashes of certain great names of history and culture, as well as certain artistic tombs which had survived were transferred to the necropolises of the Museum of City Sculpture. From 1918, places were allotted for the mass burials of victims of the repressions (burials were conducted by the members of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (VCheKa), - Joint State Political Directorate (OGPU) - People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in great secrecy, graves were unmarked, and the existence of such cemeteries was never published. Only in 1989, the site of mass burials at Levashevskaya Pustosh was declassified; see also the entry Cemeteries to Victims of the Repressions). During the years of the Siege 1941-44, mass burials took place at Piskarevskoe Memorial Cemetery, Serafimovskoe Cemetery, Bogoslovskoe Cemetery. The cremation of those who were killed or starved to death, took place at a brick works, situated on the territory of the present-day Moskovsky Park of Victory. In contemporary St. Petersburg, there are 42 cemeteries occupying the 1,100 hectares. They are governed by state unitary enterprise Ritual services (8 First Sovetskaya Street). The majority of burials take place at Yuzhnoe Cemetery (opened in 1971, Volkhonskoe Highway) and Kovalevskoe Cemetery (opened in 1985, Vsevolozhsky Region). In 1973, the Crematorium was opened. Komarovskoe Cemetery (in Komarovo village) has a special place among St. Petersburg cemeteries, in 1960s-70s it became the necropolis for scientists, artists and cultural figures.

References: Историко-статистические сведения о С.-Петербургской епархии: [В 10 вып.]. СПб., 1869-1885; Беляев В. О кладбищах в С.-Петербурге. СПб., 1872; Саитов В. И. Петербургский некрополь: В 4 т. СПб., 1912-1913; Исторические кладбища Петербурга: Справ.-путеводитель / Сост.: А. В. Кобак, Ю. М. Пирютко. СПб., 1993.

Y. M. Piryutko.

Bayer Gottlieb Siegfried
Benois Nikolay Leontievich
Blumentrost Lavrenty Lavrentievich
Buturlin Peter Ivanovich
Gagarin Matvey Petrovich, Duke
Goldbach Christian
Kokorinov Alexander Filippovich
Le Blond Jean-Baptiste Alexander
Michetti Niccolo
Pososhkov Ivan Tikhonovich
Rastrelli Bartolomeo Carlo de
Rastrelli Francesco de
Trezzini Domenico

1st Sovetskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 8
Arsenalnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Ligovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 128
Metallistov Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 5
Novocherkassky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 8
Novoladozhskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 8
Salova St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 80
Smolenka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 29
Stachek Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 98
Staro-Petergofsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city
The Field of Mars/Saint Petersburg, city
Voznesensky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 34
Выборгская сторона

Историко-статистические сведения о С.-Петербургской епархии: [В 10 вып.]. СПб., 1869-1885
Беляев В. О кладбищах в С.-Петербурге. СПб., 1872
Исторические кладбища Петербурга: Справ.-путеводитель / Сост.: А. В. Кобак, Ю.М. Пирютко. СПб., 1993
Саитов В. И. Петербургский некрополь: В 4 т. СПб., 1912-1913

The subject Index
St. Sampson’s Cathedral
Pioneering Builders of Petersburg, Monument to the
Volkovskoe Cemeteries
Memorial Cemetery to the Victims of 9th January
Smolenskoe Cemeteries
Necropolis of the18th Century
Necropolis of Artists
Holy Trinity & St. Sergius Hermitage
Imperial Burial Vault
Komendantskoe Cemetery
Novodevichye Cemetery
Novodevichye Cemetery
Jewish Cemetery
Kazanskoe Cemetery
Bogoslovskoe Cemetery
Severnoe Cemetery
Seraphimovskoe Cemetery
Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole), ensemble
February Revolution of 1917
Victims of the Revolution, Monuments to the
Museum of City Sculpture
Cemeteries to the Victims of Repression
Siege of 1941-44
Yuzhnoe Cemetery
Komorovskoe Cemetery


Cemetery Churches (entry)

CEMETERY CHURCHES built in municipal cemeteries from the middle of the 18th century. In 1759-1760, the wooden Church of Our Lady of Smolensk was erected at the Smolensk Orthodox Cemetery (see Smolenskoe Cemeteries); in 1756-1759