Cemetery Complex of Mirogoj, Zagreb, CROATIA
Built between 1876 and 1929 by the German architect Herman Bollé, Mirogoj is a multiconfessional cemetery complex located in Zagreb, Croatia. The site, characterised by Neoclassical architecture, presents elements of both dominant types of 19th century cemeteries, the so-called Campo Santo type and the park type.
The Mirogoj Cemetery complex is composed of a central open space surrounded by arcades that are influenced in style by Italian and Central European cemeteries. One of the special features of Mirogoj is the harmonious relationship between the pavilions, the domes and arcades.
Since its consecration in 1876, the burials in Mirogoj were regulated according to state laws and not to religious laws. Numerous historical figures and Croatian personalities have been buried in Mirogoj, and this contributes to the site’s important emotional significance. Today, the cemetery complex is one of the most representative monuments in the city, visited by locals and tourists alike. It is part of the European Cemeteries Route and the Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe.
In March 2020, the city of Zagreb was hit by a 5.5 Richter magnitude earthquake, which caused severe damage to the Cemetery Complex of Mirogoj. The walls suffered cracks, the floors were damaged and many architectural and decorative elements have collapsed.
Following this unfortunate event, the Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia immediately intervened with emergency measures. However, the site’s structure has also been victim to severe rains, which have occured in the past months, and to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impeded damage assessment and conservation processes. The Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia nominated the Cemetery Complex of Mirogoj to the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2021.
The Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme noted: “This cemetery complex is a fine example of European Neoclassical architecture by a German architect inspired by Italian, Viennese and Prague counterparts. Besides its architectural and aesthetic values, the cemetery has important historical, social and emotional significance as the first multiconfessional public cemetery in Zagreb and as the resting place of numerous historical figures. The Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia has taken the first crucial steps to protect the site, but international solidarity is greatly needed to rehabilitate the Cemetery Complex of Mirogoj”.