Entrance to the cemetery.
|Size||10.8 hectares (27 acres)|
Rasos Cemetery (Lithuanian: Rasų kapinės, Belarusian: Могілкі Росы, Polish: cmentarz Na Rossie w Wilnie) is the oldest and most famous cemetery in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is named after the Rasos district where it is located. It is separated into two parts, the old and the new cemeteries, by a narrow Sukilėliai Street. The total area is 10.8 ha. Since 1990 new burials are allowed only to family graves.
The year 1769 is widely cited in many sources as the date when the cemetery was founded. However, some historians believe it is a typo and the real date should be 1796. On April 24, 1801 the new cemetery was consecrated. Two days later Jan Müller, the mayor of Vilnius, became the first person to be buried there. A formal document was signed in July 1801. It specified that the cemetery received 3.51 ha of land and that the cemetery will be free of charge to all city residents. It was the first cemetery in Vilnius not located next to a church.
In 1802-1807 two columbariums were built. They reached up to five stories in height and were joined at a right angle. At the end of the 19th century the columbariums began deteriorating. Instead of restoring them, the Soviet authorities demolished the right columbarium after World War II and the left columbarium in 1970s. In between the columbariums, a neo-gothic red brick chapel was built in 1844-1850. In 1888 a matching belltower was added to the chapel. At first the cemetery was surrounded by a wooden fence, but it burned down in 1812. A brick fence was rebuilt in 1820 and portions of it survive to this day.
In 1814 the cemetery was expanded as authorities bought additional land from a city resident. The addition is now known as the Hill of the Literaries (Lithuanian: Literatų kalnelis). In 1847, members of the Eastern Orthodox church opened their own cemetery next to Rasos. It was used to bury soldiers from a nearby monastery hospital and poor city residents. Therefore it became known as the Cemetery of Orphans (Lithuanian: Našlaičių kapinės).
The Soviets closed the cemetery in 1967 and the cemetery suffered from neglect. The whole necropolis was to be destroyed in the 1980s as the Soviet authorities planned a major motorway to be built directly through the cemetery. Due to a press campaign led by Polish-language "Czerwony Sztandar" (Red Banner) newspaper and economical difficulties the destruction was halted. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuanian and Polish authorities collaborated in an effort to restore the cemetery.
Polish war cemetery
In 1920 a war cemetery was built near the entrance for 164 Polish soldiers who fell in the city during the Polish–Soviet War and Polish–Lithuanian War. It was rebuilt in 1935–1936 by Wojciech Jastrzębowski, who also designed the tombstone where the heart of Józef Piłsudski is enshrined.
Until September 18, 1939, when the Red Army entered the city, an honorary guard of three soldiers stood there at all times. Three unknown soldiers who refused to give up their arms to the Soviets in 1939 were shot on the spot and are now buried next to Marshal Piłsudski's heart. Part of the cemetery contains graves of Polish Home Army soldiers, who fell during the Wilno Uprising. Their graves, demolished after World War II, were rebuilt by the funds of the Republic of Poland in 1993.
- Adam Ferdynand Adamowicz (1802-1881), one of the pioneers of Polish veterinary, president of the Medical Society of Vilna
- Francišak Alachnovič (1883–1944), writer, journalist
- Bolesław Bałzukiewicz (1867-1915), Polish sculptor, professor at the Stefan Batory University
- Jonas Basanavičius (1851–1927), physician, scientist, patriot, activist, signer of the Act of Independence of Lithuania
- August Bécu (1771-1824), Polish physician, stepfather Juliusz Słowacki
- Kazys Boruta (1905–1965), writer and politician
- Janina Burchardówna (1883–1924), Polish journalist, teacher and freedom-fighter
- Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911), painter and composer
- Petras Cvirka (1909–1947), writer
- Aleksander Dalewski (1827-1862), Polish political activist, founder of "Związek Bratni"
- Mečislovas Davainis-Silvestraitis (1849–1919), journalist, poet, specialist in Lithuanian folklore, book smuggler, Lithuanian activist
- Wacław Dziewulski (1882–1938), Polish physician, professor at Vilnius University
- Antonina Fiszer (1824–1840), Polish actress
- Antoni Józef Gliński (1818-1865), Polish writer
- Laurynas Gucevičius (Wawrzyniec Gucewicz) (1753–1798), Polish architect
- Władysław Horodyjski, Polish philosopher, professor at the University of Vilna
- Czesław Jankowski (1857–1929), Polish poet
- Ludwik Janowski (1878-1921), Polish cultural historian, professor
- Wacław Jasiński (1881-1936), Polish pediatrician, professor at the University of Vilna
- Adam Jocher (1791–1860), Polish librarian, founder of the first public library in Vilna
- Gabrielius Landsbergis–Žemkalnis (1852–1916), playwright, publicist, book distributor, administrator of Vilniaus žinios
- Franciszka Kleczkowska (1827-1889), Polish educational activist
- Joachim Lelewel (1786–1861), Polish historian, professor at Vilnius University
- Józef Łukaszewicz (1863–1928), Polish professor at Vilnius University and revolutionist
- Felicjan Kochanowski (1831-1887), Polish priest, educational activist
- Juliusz Kłos (1881–1933), Polish architect, author of the first guidebook to Vilnius
- Wacław Leon Makowski (1854-1929), Polish publisher
- Mikołaj Malinowski (1799-1865), Polish historian, archaeologist
- Józef Montwiłł (1850–1911), Polish humanist and sponsor of hospitals, orphanages and museums
- Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas (1893–1967), writer
- Jan O'Connor (1760–1802), physician, professor at Vilnius University
- Jerzy Orda (1905-1972), Polish historian, social activist
- The heart of Józef Piłsudski (1867–1935), Polish statesman. Also his mother, two brothers, and first wife are buried at Rasos cemetery
- Onufry Pietraszkiewicz (1793-1863), Polish poet
- Maria Piłsudska (née Koplewska; 1865–1921), first wife of Józef Piłsudski
- Adam Piłsudski (1869-1935), Polish politician, Vice-President of Vilna, brother of Józef Piłsudski
- Karol Podczaszyński (1790–1860), Polish architect, professor at Vilnius University
- Rafał Radziwiłłowicz (1860-1929) Polish psychiatrist, social activist, professor at the University of Stefan Batory, co-founder of the Society for Social Medicine, co-founder of the Polish Psychiatric Association (1920)
- Ludwik Sokołowski (1882-1936), Polish engineer, architect, professor at the University of Stefan Batory
- Euzebiusz Słowacki (1772-1814), Polish theorist and literary historian, father of Juliusz Słowacki
- Franciszek Smuglewicz (1745–1807), Polish painter, professor at Vilnius University
- Balys Sruoga (1896–1947), Lithuanian writer and concentration camp survivor
- Jędrzej Śniadecki (1768–1838), Polish physician, chemist, biologist, writer
- Wiktor Staniewicz (1866-1932), Polish mathematician, professor and rector of the Stefan Batory University in the years 1921-1922
- Władysław Syrokomla (1823–1862), Polish writer
- Jurgis Šlapelis (1876–1941), Lithuanian linguist, translator, Lithuanian activist, cultural and political figure
- Juozas Tallat–Kelpša (1889–1949), composer
- Count Eustachy Tyszkiewicz (1814–1873), Polish historian, archaeologist
- Antanas Vileišis (1856–1919), physician, activist
- Jonas Vileišis (1872–1942), Lithuanian politician, mayor of Kaunas, signer of the Act of Independence of Lithuania
- Petras Vileišis (1851–1926), engineer, Lithuanian activist
- Povilas Višinskis (1875–1906), book smuggler, writer
- Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński (1806-1885), Polish physician, collector and publisher
- Antoni Wiwulski (1877–1919), Polish architect and sculptor
- Stanisław Karol Władyczko (1878-1936), Polish neurologist and psychiatrist, professor at the Institute Psychoneurological in St. Petersburg and the Stefan Batory University
- Tadeusz Wróblewski, (1858–1925) Polish lawyer, bibliophile
- Bronisław Wróblewski (1888–1941), Polish lawyer
- Bronisław Żongołłowicz (1879-1944), Polish Catholic priest, professor at the University of Stefan Batory, member of the Sejm
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rasos Cemetery.|
- Juliusz Kłos, Wilno: przewodnik krajoznawczy, Wilno 1937, s. 229.
- (Lithuanian) Girininkienė, Vida; Algirdas Paulauskas (1980). "Vilniaus nekropolis ir panteonas". Mokslas ir gyvenimas (11). ISSN 0134-3084.
- (Polish) Deptuła, Katarzyna (2001-04-19). "Cmentarz na Rossie". Gazeta Wyborcza (Warsaw). Retrieved 2010-10-24.
- (Lithuanian) Juozas Lebionka. Laurynas Gucevičius palaidotas Rasos (Laurynas Gucevičius is buried in Rasos). Voruta, No. 20 (542), 23 October 2003