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The historic cemeteries

Beniowa cemetery

Beniowa cemetery – in 1852 three cemeteries existed here: one surrounding the Orthodox church, and two burials located on both sides of the road. Today’s graveyard is located in the immediate vicinity of the church, to the North and South from it. When in 1980s the rural areas the land was re-cultivated with the use of explosives, the southern part of the cemetery was destroyed. The Northern side survived, surrounded by old trees, with 13 tombstones and very well preserved foundations of the Orthodox church. The cemetery was re-made thanks to the society’s initiative and efforts during the camp organised in 1990 by the Social Commission of the Protection of the Monuments of Art, working at the Main Board of the Orthodox Society of the Warsaw Monuments. In 1992, on the initiative of the forester Derwich, the workers of the Bieszczady National Park build the cemetery fence and set up a sign with the information about the village and the church. The surviving tombstones come from the local workshops, but partly they were also made by the local self-taught amateurs. They are made of sandstone, or concrete. The most interesting forms are the characteristics of the simplest tombstones, captivating the visitor with their naivety and mystery.

Berehy Górne cemetery

Berehy Górne cemetery – it is located next to the former Orthodox church, to the North. It is surrounded by the low stone wall. in 1960s there were approximately 60 tombstones here. During the building of the road, called „a ring road”, the Stones were crushed and used as gravel. Today there are only 11 left. Several of them were made by the local amateur stonecutter Hryć Buchwak, who decorated the tombstones with the archaic geometrical ornament.

Cemetery in Bukowiec

Cemetery in Bukowiec – it is located around 100 m to the West from the former Orthodox church. There are three preserved tombstones, renovated by the local people in 1990, with help of the Commission for the Protection of the Orthodox Church Monuments. Additionally, in Bukowiec there is a World War I military cemetery, placed on the area of 16x16 m, situated to the South of the former Orthodox church. 12 mass graves have survived to this very day.

Caryńskie cemetery

Caryńskie cemetery – it is located around the former Orthodox church site, in the fork of the Caryński and Caryńczyk streams. To the present day only three tombstones, the ruins of the pilgrimage chapel, and the part of the wall have survived.

Cemetery in Chmiel

Cemetery in Chmiel –  situated around the Orthodox church, it is surrounded by the recently built fence. Within this area there are six old tombstones, including one of the former land owner, Emil Ricci and the former parish priest, Feliks Dołżycki. A very interesting object on this cemetery is the tombstone dated 1641, with an inscription in the old Orthodox language. Now it is exhibited under the shelter built in the shape of the old bell tower.

Cemetery in Dwernik

Cemetery in Dwernik – situated on a slope descending to the Dwernik brook, in a totally different place than today’s church. Formerly the graveyard surrounded the Orthodox church, of which now there is no trace. In the past, the cemetery consisted of two parts, divided by the road, which still exists at the present. But to our times only the Western part of the cemetery with 14 tombstones has survived.

Cemeteries in Dźwiniacz Górny

Cemeteries in Dźwiniacz Górny – there are two graveyards on the former site of the village, which now has ceased to exist: so-called “new” cemetery and “old” cemetery. The old cemetery lies on a hill, neighbouring with the former manor and the Orthodox church, which have also disappeared with time. Surrounded by the ring of old trees and renovated in 1990, it is a home to 17 tombstones. The most interesting one is a huge sarcophagus, in which lies the local paroch (parish priest), according to the tradition. The new cemetery lies approximately 200 m West, in the fork of two ravines. Although it used to have a much wider area, only 4 tombstones remain, made of natural sandstone blocks. It is not surrounded by old trees.

Cemetery in Hulskie

Cemetery in Hulskie – located by the ruins of the Orthodox church, to the South from the temple. 5 gravestones survived, made of the natural sandstone blocks, which served as pedestals for the cast iron crosses.

Cemetery in Krywe

Cemetery in Krywe – situated to the North of the existing ruins of the Orthodox church’s ruins. In 1852 its total area was 28 acres. To this day only few gravestones remain, last one from 1945. 

Cemetery in Lutowiska

Cemetery in Lutowiska – Greek-Catholic graveyard, situated near the former Orthodox church’s site, established at the turn of 18th and 19th centuries. Until the World War II it was used by the Catholics for both ordinances, later only by Greek-Catholics. There are over a dozen gravestones with the Polish and Ukrainian inscriptions. Two of the oldest ones come from the 1860s. 

Jewish cemetery in Lutowiska

The Bieszczady Jewish Cemetery in Lutowiska is the second largest – after the graveyard in Lesko – Jewish cemetery in the mountain region.

It is an undeniable testimony of the former glory of the Jewish community in Lutowiska. The inventory works conducted in 1997 and 2002 under the guidance of professor & doctor Jerzy Worończak of the Wrocław University, showed that the graveyard has over 1000 graves.

First tombstones were raised in the 18th century. The oldest gravestone found to date is called 5 kislew 5557 – i.e. 5th December 1896; the youngest – 20 adar I 5700 or 29th February 1940.

With the development of the Jewish community in Lutowiska, which dates back to 18th century, the cemetery grew bigger. Its oldest part is the lower part and the youngest tombstones are on the upper part of the hill.

The traditional gravestone of the Jews was macewa. It takes shape of the vertically set stone slab.

Artistic images from the kirkut (i.e. Jewish cemetery) in Lutowiska are divided into three groups: floral motifs, animals and objects.

The custom of placing the tombstone which marks the burial place is dictated by the tradition.

For Polish Jews, the typical tombstone is “stela” or “macewa”. Usually it is put up on the first anniversary of a person passing away; it is accompanied by a modest celebration.

Tombstones are often similar, and are the original creations of the Jewish folk art.

Reliefs on the gravestones most often picture:

-         deer and lions (on the gravestones of men)

-         pigeons (on the gravestones of women)

-         Candle holders (on the gravestones of women; the images relate to the lady of the house reciting a blessing over the candles at the start of the Shabbat)

-         crowns (on the gravestones of men, expressing the general praise – “the crown of a good name”)

-         pitchers (on the gravestones of men of the Levi’s ancestors, who wash the priests’ hands before the blessing during the church services)

-         hands – gesture of a blessing (on the gravestones of men of the Aaron’s ancestors, i.e. the priests).

There is also an abundance of all kinds of plant ornaments.

The language of all epitaphs of the Lutowiska Jewish cemetery is Hebrew – the sacred speech.

The texts contain personal details of the deceased, date of death, and praises, often extensive. Almost every text starts with the abbreviation n”p – “here lies…”, and ends with a short h"bj nt – “let it be the soul of his/her, tied in the bag of those alive”.

Unfortunately, each year colder winters and hot summers little by little destroy the stones, not paying much attention to their historical and cultural value. The local sandstone – material from which most of the gravestones were made – is a very poor material in terms of durability, so many tombstones have been partially or completely damaged. 

The cemetery is one of the few reminders of the large Jewish community living in Lutowiska from the late 18th century until the deaths in June 1942, when German soldiers destroyed almost all wooden buildings of the town.

Cemetery in Sianki

Cemetery in Sianki – there were several cemeteries in Sianki, but some of them are no more than traces on the maps now; others lie on the Ukrainian side. On the Polish side there is an Orthodox church’s cemetery left, whose main component is the so-called “Tomb of the Countess” – the tomb of Klara and Franciszek Stroińscy, died in the second half of the 19th century. There are two tombstones and a small chapel, reconstructed by the Bieszczady National Park’s workers in 1993. Near the chapel there are around 30 graves, some of them having stone frames. 

Cemetery in Skorodne

Cemetery in Skorodne – two cemeteries existed in the village. On the Orthodox church’s one, completely destroyed in 1970s and 1980s, no gravestone survived. But on the upper burial ground, also heavily damaged, to this day two tombs and four gravestones can be found. There are also several contemporary graves.

Cemetery in Smolnik

Cemetery in Smolnik – it is located near the existing St Michael the Archangel’s Orthodox church. In the past there were two graveyards here – Orthodox one (no tombstone survived) and burial, with five preserved tombstones.

Cemetery in Stuposiany

Cemetery in Stuposiany – Orthodox cemetery, where 60 tombstones existed after the World War II. Unfortunately, a lot of them were used in 1970s for building the road to Muczne and Tarnawa. To this very day survive a few stones with inscriptions and seven tombstones, including one of the local property owner – Marceli Wisłocki. 

Cemetery in Wołosate

Cemetery in Wołosate – Orthodox graveyard, after 1946 heavily damaged. The surviving tombstones were renovated through the society’s efforts in 1991. The most impressive one is of the daughter of the parish priest from Ustrzyki Górne, Mychaił Strojecki. It is a sandstone plinth, surmounted by the cast iron cross, surrounded by wrought, iron fence. In addition, there are six other concrete tombstones with no inscriptions. 

Cemetery in Zatwarnica

Cemetery in Zatwarnica – all that remains of this Orthodox cemetery is the ring of old trees. Neighbouring with the place where the Orthodox church used to stand, there is another burial cemetery, with a several preserved tombstones – including one with the inscription in the Ukrainian language. 


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