Praying Statue In The Old Cemetery

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© RicardMN Photography

The Bernardine Cemetery (Lithuanian: Bernardinų kapinės, Polish: Cmentarz Bernadyński), is one of the three oldest cemeteries in Vilnius, Lithuania. It covers about 38,000 square metres and has an estimated 14,000 burial sites. It was established in 1810 by the Bernardine monks of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, just east of the city center in the Uzupis district, and is situated on an embankment of the Vilnia river. Its development was a consequence of Tsarist authorities of the Russian Empire prohibiting burying the dead near churches. The residents of Vilnius moved the cemetery to what was then the outskirts of the city.

The Columbaria were built on the east and west sides of the cemetery. The cemetery was expanded in 1860. After the Second World War the cemetery was abandoned for the most part and began to deteriorate.

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