Hřbitov U Všech svatých / All Saints Cemetery

(Plzeň) Plzeň Severní Předměstí
GPS: 49.758812, 13.379064

The cemetery with the parish Church of All Saints is situated on an elongated hill above the river Mže and the historical neighbourhood Roudná in the Northern Suburbs of Pilsen. As evidenced by archaeological finds, the area on the left bank of the river was settled long before the founding of Pilsen. In the High Middle Ages, the village of Malice and probably also an agglomeration of other smaller settlements was located here. At the end of the 13th century the role of the centre of the Pilsen basin was taken over by New Pilsen. On the westernmost tip of the promontory, protected from the southern side by a cliff, a fortress called Kunčin Hrádek (Kunka’s Castle) used to stand, next to the site of today's cemetery. We are reminded of the fortress to this day by the name of the local street Na Hrádku (At the Castle).

The establishment of the Church of All Saints is connected with the above mentioned village of Malice. Before its construction, there was probably an older cemetery in its place, as indicated by skeletal remains found below the level of the original floor of the church. After the foundation of Pilsen in 1295, the oldest Pilsen tabernacle, where the Romanesque masonry has been preserved in the presbytery and sacristy, served as a parish church not only to the neighbouring settlements but also to the newly founded town. In 1322 the newly built Church of St. Bartholomew on the main square of Pilsen took over this role. In the late 14th century, the church in Roudná underwent an extensive reconstruction. Even after partial Renaissance and Baroque adaptations, its appearance is a valuable example of the advanced Gothic style of Wenceslas IV’s time.

The significance of the church and the adjacent graveyard grew after 1784, when, as part of the Josephine reforms, the cemetery at the church of St. Bartholomew was discontinued for sanitary reasons. At that time, the burial grounds at All Saints Cemetery were expanded for the first time - from the church to the west towards the top of the hill. Between 1868 and 1873 the area of ​​the complex doubled. The new part of the cemetery north of the church had a cross-shaped plan, whose transverse axis led north of the entrance to the church while the longitudinal axis pointed from the new entrance with a gate on the east side to the west, up to the golden cast-iron cross marking the grave of Pilsen Archdeacon František Herold in the centre of the crossing. The imaginary line continued further to the morgue, built in the Neo-Classicist style at the western cemetery wall in 1883. The symmetry of this object underlines the rational character and compositional order of the whole new section (characteristic of the cemetery architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries).

The extension of the complex in 1873 included the construction of an undertaker’s house in the southern tip of the cemetery at the Pod Všemi svatými street. Several tombs of prominent Pilsen burghers and their relatives - the Klotz family, the Dobner family or the Trapp family - still lie along the wall of the new section today. The families of Rohrer, Kludský or Jindřich Mikolecký also found their last resting place on the premises. A modern tombstone also reminds us of the Brožík family.

At the end of 1901 the cemetery was closed and the Central Cemetery at Rokycanská Street took over its role. However, burials continued to take place, to a limited extent, and probably secretly at All Saints until 1911. In the period between the World Wars, the cemetery was used for mass burials of both Czech and German citizens.

In 1963 the municipal administration decided to discontinue the cemetery. After that, the premises were neither guarded nor maintained and quickly fell into disrepair. The undertaker's house was transferred to private ownership and its operation separated from the cemetery. In 1969, the cemetery – then in very bad condition – was actually abolished. It was meant to be levelled, yet this never happened. On the contrary, in 1974, when Antonín Macháček undertook a construction and building history survey with the support of the Municipal Heritage Preservation authority, a gradual renovation of the complex began. At that time, Macháček was assisted by a group of volunteers including J. Kabát, M. Votlučka, S. Luft or V. Antoš, whose interests and activities prevented the complete destruction of the cemetery. Some of them voluntarily take care of the premises of ​​approximately 1.4 hectares to this day.

In 1995 a partial reconstruction of the church was completed. Three years later, the Cemetery and Crematorium Authority handed the cemetery over to the care of the Public Property Administration of the City of Pilsen (however, the church, the morgue and some clergy graves are the property of the Catholic Church). In 2001, a gradual reconstruction of the bounding wall began, which continues to this day. The building of the morgue has been partially renovated as well as some of the tombs. In 2015, the whole area was revitalised according to the project of Vít Doležel – the paths along the main axes were adapted in park style and new furniture was installed. At the same time, gravestones were newly installed in the previously levelled areas. Since April 2018, the cemetery has opened to the public every first Wednesday of the month. Repairs of tombstones and renovations of grave fields will continue in the future depending on the city’s financial possibilities.


JČ – MK – PK

Sources

  • Erika Dalihodová, Vývoj a prostorové uspořádání vybraných hřbitovů na území dnešní Plzně (diplomová práce), katedra archeologie Fakulty filozofické ZČU, Plzeň 2012.
  • Kostel Všech svatých (Plzeň), Wikipedie, https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostel_Všech_svatých_(Plzeň), vyhledáno 21. 12. 2017.
  • Eva Barborková, Hřbitov U Všech svatých na Roudné se otevře veřejnosti, Správa veřejného statku města Plzně, https://www.plzen.eu/obcan/aktuality/aktuality-z-mesta/hrbitov-u-vsech-svatych-na-roudne-se-otevre-verejnosti.aspx, vyhledáno 30. 3. 2018.
  • Irena Tolarová, Hřbitov U Všech svatých na Roudné se otevírá veřejnosti, Správa veřejného statku města Plzně, http://www.svsmp.cz/mestska-zelen/zajimavosti/hrbitov-u-vsech-svatych-na-roudne-se-otevira-verejnosti.aspx, vyhledáno 21. 12. 2017.
 
C0C1C2C3C4C5C6C7C8C9