Thursday, 8 April 2021

Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek Says Mirogoj Cemetery One of Seven Most Endangered European Localities

ZAGREB, 8 April, 2021 - Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery complex is one of the seven European most endangered monument localities in 2021, Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said at a news conference on Thursday.

The Culture and Media Ministry, in cooperation with the City of Zagreb, the City Institute for the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Heritage and the Zagreb Holding multi-utility conglomerate nominated the cemetery for the European Seven Most Endangered Programme, taking into account its specificity and value as the most important multiconfessional cemetery in Croatia and an exceptionally valuable cemetery at the European level, as well as the huge damage caused to it by the March 2020 earthquake, the minister said.

She recalled that the programme, implemented since 2013 by Europa Nostra in cooperation with the European Investment Bank Institute, each year puts emphasis on seven European localities.

That way experts and funds are mobilised so that together we can renovate the European cultural heritage, said Obuljen Koržinek.

She noted that a number of European experts, notably earthquake reconstruction experts, had offered various forms of help over the past year and that they would all be involved, notably in complex reconstruction projects.

"The preliminary work on the Mirogoj complex alone, to be financed from the European Solidarity Fund, has been estimated at HRK 97 million," she said, adding that this includes emergency repairs acceptable for financing under the European Solidarity Fund.

Those funds have been approved, documents are being collected and work will start relatively soon, she said, noting that it was clear to everyone that the renovation of Mirogoj would be a long-standing project requiring great professional engagement considering that the cemetery had not been renovated since its construction.

She said that at today's Europa Nostra presentation it was said that everyone would mobilise to help Croatia collect the necessary funding.

The other six most endangered monuments and localities of cultural heritage in Europe in 2021 are the Achensee Cog Railway (Tyrol, Austria), Five Southern Aegean Islands (Greece), Giusti Garden in Verona (Italy), Dečani Monastery (Kosovo), the Central Post Office in Skopje (North Macedonia) and the San Juan de Socueva Chapel and Hermitage (Cantabria, Spain).

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Monday, 20 November 2017

Cultural Heritage in Spotlight: Cemetery Days in Pula

The ongoing conference in Pula focuses on an often overlooked part of cultural heritage

Monday, 30 October 2017

Varaždin County Takes a Ride on the Bike Side - A Somewhat Macabre Story

Cyclotourism has finally been getting some prime time in Varaždin County. Although, the headline “Cyclist Restroom by the Cemetery” probably wasn’t envisioned as a Haloween publicity stunt but rather a misjudged decision by someone who believed that an 878.000 kuna investment might go unnoticed because it involved the word cycling. Or was it the word cemetery? Still, it is a sign of the times that bikes are en vogue.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sites in Split: The Sinagogue, Jewish Community, and the Jewish Cemetery

The Synagogue

Tucked into the western walls of Diocletian’s Palace in the narrow street of Židovski Prolaz (Jewish Passage) you will find the third oldest continuously used Sephardic Synagogue in the world stemming from the 16th century. Sephardic Jews came from the Iberian Peninsula (Span and Portugal) as refugees. It was once a church however; it was rented and later bought by the Jews who converted it into their place of worship. It is housed on the second of two attached medieval houses and does not resemble a synagogue from the outside.

The Aron Hakodesh, an ark and inner sanctuary which is the most sacred place of worship as it faces Jerusalem, is constructed in the Classicist style using black and white marble. The Aron Hokadesh and the Torah are actually embedded within the Roman walls of Diocletian’s Palace. The Sinagogue has no resident rabbi however; this does not prevent this tight-knit community to meet for Sabbath.

You can visit the synagogue from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm but we suggest you call ahead on +385 (0)21 345 672 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Jewish Community of Split

In nearby Salona (Solin), Jewish artifacts have been excavated, proving that this community first lived in the area somewhere between the 3rd and 5th century however, it is believed that they first settled in the palace in the 7th century in what later became known as the Jewish Ghetto, or just “Get” today. Recent archeological digs also revealed several limestone carvings of menorahs in the eastern part of the basement, thought to have belonged to the first synagogue in Split which was destroyed when the palace burned in 1507. Another Jewish claim to fame is the northeast tower of the palace dubbed Židovska Kula (Jewish Tower) by locals as the Jewish community defended the city from the Ottoman invasion from this tower.

The Synagogue is located in the tight streets of the Jewish Ghetto, known as Get today and it was within this quarter of the palace that the Jews lived. Actually, the gates of the Jewish Ghetto were locked every night in order to prevent any religious outbreak between the Christians and Jewish communities. Actually, only one incident ever occurred when a fascist group robbed the synagogue of its silver and plundered the Jewish bookstore “Morpurgo” on Pjaca. The Morpurgo bookstore still exists today, bearing the same name and distict wooden green façade as it did in 1860.

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Pre-WWII there was a slim population of 300 Jews in Split however, 50% died between 1941 and 1943 and today, Split has a Jewish community of about 100 members.

The Jewish Cemetery

Permission was given to the Jewish community in 1573 to construct a cemetery on the eastern slopes of the Marjan hill, looking over the city. It is known to be one of the oldest Jewist cemeteries in Europe and there are more than 700 graves with readable tombstones in Sephardic double-curved Hebraic text from the 18th and 20th century. The gravestones are constructed according the Sephardim tradition where they lie horizontal instead of standing vertical.

The last burial took place in 1945 before is was closed as a monument. Today there is a Jewish section and a Holocaust memorial at the public Lovrinac cemetery west of town.

You can reach the cemetery within a 10-minute walk up the stairs to Marjan from the Varoš neighborhood just east of the palace. If the gates are locked, you can pop into the neighboring café, “Vidilica,” and the waiter will open it up for you.

Image from