All Saints Day might not exactly be the most joyful of events, but there is still much to appreciate about this traditional Polish holiday.
Every year thousands flock to the cemeteries not only to pay respect to the departed, but to marvel in the beautiful imagery of the bright candlelight illuminating the graves amongst the backdrop of the dark night sky.
So for those of you who are keen to take in a bit of the All Saints Day atmosphere, here are four cemeteries that are worth paying a visit:
Grabiszyński Cemetery was built in 1881 and contains two small military cemeteries – one for the 600 Polish soldiers who died during the second world war, and another marking the Italian soldiers who were killed during WWI. You can get there via trams 4, 5, 11 and 20 plus buses 125 and 107. There will also be special additional trams E1 and E6 heading in the direction of Oporów – just be sure to get off at the ‘Grabiszyński Cmentarz’ stop. This cemetery is one of the city’s most beautiful and is sure to be very busy.
Osobowicki Cemetery is enormous, covering an area of 53 hectares. Last year the place was temporarily shut down to allow the hunting of some foraging wild boar, but it is very much open now. Expect thousands to be streaming in through the gates between now and closing time on Saturday. You can get there via trams 14, 24 and E1, as well as buses 118, 119, 129 and 301.
Cmentarz Swietego Wawrzynca
St. Lawrence’s Cemetery (Cmentarz Św. Wawrzyńca) is the closest cemetery from the city centre and can be accessed easily from Galeria Dominikanska tram stops. Just head north via trams 9,17 and E6 – get off at the Grunwaldzka stop.
Cmentarz Swietej Rodziny
The Holy Family Cemetery (Cmentarz Świętej Rodziny) is open all night but is a bit of a trek from the city centre. For the adventurous travelers amongst us, you can get there via bus number 145 – get off at the Libelta stop.