Lychakivskiy Cemetery – Discover the Eerie Mysteries of this Ancient Cemetary
Lychakivskiy Cemetery is everything you would imagine a haunted graveyard to be. Eerie, yet capitivatingly beautiful, this cemetery is the final resting place of over 400,000 souls.
There’s a particular feeling you get, an insecurity as you glance at names and dates and wonder what brought them to their final end. Haunting reminiscence fills the air, broken by the smell of the fresh flowers placed on the head of tombstones. This kind gesture is evidence of enduring respect for the many patriots, poets, writers and historians that lay here. It shows how their legendary pasts and contributions to life continue to affect those still living today.
Since 1787, when it was founded on the outskirts of Lviv, Lychakivskiy has been the city’s main graveyard. Initially it was located within the borough of Lyczakow among several of the borough’s hills, but this changed when an imperial Austro-Hungarian decree declared that all cemeteries to be removed and placed on the outskirts of the city limits. The man assigned this immense task was Karol Bauer, head of the ‘Lwów University botanical gardens’.
It is the amazing networks of pathways and alleys that encompass this eerie graveyard which many find truly enchanting. Most of these cemetery paths were designed by Tytus Tchorzewski in the mid 1850’s during a period of significant burial ground expansion. As time passed the surrounding memorial parks began to close one by one until finally the Yanivskiy and Lychakivskiy Cemetery were the only cemeteries left remaining. Devastation became rampant after World War II when the Soviet Union took over the city and expelled many of the Ukrainian SSR and surviving pre-war inhabitants to areas that formerly belonged to the Germans. It was during this time period that the graveyards were left bare and desolate. In a sense, history was being destroyed and it seemed that the ravages of time were irreversible. Such disregard for the dead was especially felt in the in the area allocated to the Lwow Eagles. Within a relatively short period of time this area became nothing more than a truck depot. How could such disrespect be tolerated?
By 1975 Lychakivskiy was declared a historical monument even though so many years had passed that the degradation of the cemetery was virtually complete. However, in the late 1980’s an initiative was developed to consistently rebuild and refurbish the cemetery. Today it stands as a proud attraction which is visited by thousands of tourists who are intrigued by this fascinating and mysteriously haunting graveyard in the charming city of Lviv.