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Mirogoj Cemetery: Where Art Meets Death

Mirogoj is not only a cemetery but also an “open-air museum” that readily welcomes its visitors, enchanting them with its peace and beauty. Nestled on the slopes of Medvednica, Mirogoj stands as the central cemetery in Zagreb. It is celebrated as one of Europe’s most picturesque burial grounds. 

Mirogoj Cemetery 3

Beyond its solemn role, Mirogoj unfolds as a captivating park and an al fresco art gallery. Renowned for housing the final resting places of numerous prominent figures, it has earned the moniker of the Croatian Pantheon. 

To ensure Mirogoj radiates its daily splendor, the dedicated staff at the City Cemetery diligently tend to its aesthetic appeal and overall orderliness. Their daily efforts encompass maintaining the pristine condition of parks, flower beds, trees, and access alleys throughout the entirety of the cemetery. 

Why did we decide to visit Mirogoj this time – that is, a cemetery? We believe that some of you will find this selection of ours somewhat unusual, but all art lovers will agree with us. Mirogoj is truly a work of art. And not an ordinary work of art – it combines art with death. We could even say that death and art are inextricably linked because only they share the concept of eternity. 

stroll along pathways
Stroll along Mirogoj pathways.

We see the Mirogoj cemetery as one of the most beautiful museums we have ever come across. We believe that every visitor to Zagreb should set aside a few hours to visit it at least once. And there is another important fact – the entrance to the cemetery is free. 

Mirogoj Cemetery: A Unified Resting Place

  • Now, we cannot talk to you about Mirogoj without mentioning some important historical facts. 

In the 1860s, Zagreb faced a challenge with overcrowded city cemeteries. That led to the necessity of finding a new space for a collective burial ground. In 1872, the city municipality collaborated with the Archdiocese, deciding to close smaller cemeteries and use the land to establish a new city cemetery. 

Mirogoj Cemetery 3

The conditions for this endeavor were met through the acquisition of Ljudevit Gaja’s estate at an 1873 auction. Although officially opening on November 6, 1876, Mirogoj’s roots can be traced back to this pivotal moment. Unlike the fragmented and religion-specific cemeteries of the past, Mirogoj marked a shift towards a single, central cemetery for people of all faiths. 

Owned by the city municipality, Mirogoj was granted the status of a collective cemetery shortly after its inauguration. The cemetery’s spatial organization featured an outer section resembling an English park and an inner section designated for burials. Divided into four parts based on religion – Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Jewish – Mirogoj aimed for unity, prohibiting fences between religious sections. 

Captivating Arcades Called Us For a Stroll Through Time

Built just three years after Mirogoj’s opening in 1876, these structures unfolded over nearly four decades until 1917.  Eight pavilions grace the southern side, and four stand tall to the north, creating a stunning visual. Inspired by Italian Renaissance cemeteries, these arcades offer a striking contrast. To the city of the living, they appear fortress-like, with a closed wall and dome accents, while towards the city of the dead, they open up, inviting you into a world of brightness. 


The pavilions within these grand arcades are architectural marvels. Supported by columns and archivolts, crowned with shallow cross vaults, they echo sophistication. As you walk through, each step is guided by the gradual elevation, creating a harmonious rhythm. Designed by Hermann Bollé, these structures weathered a mighty earthquake in 1880, a testament to their enduring strength. 

Wandering through Mirogoj’s enchanting arcades felt like stepping into a living tale. It was like a journey through time where the past and present harmoniously coexist. As we strolled beneath the elegant arches, we couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to history. 

Mirogoj Cemetery 3

Peaceful ambiance and serene atmosphere created an introspective mood, making us appreciate the beauty of the present while feeling the weight of the stories embedded in the very stones beneath our feet. Amidst Mirogoj’s grand arcades lie the resting places of Croatia’s history-makers. It’s more than a stroll; it’s a poetic journey that lets you touch the past. 

This peaceful walk offers a tranquil escape, a bridge between the living and the departed. We warmly suggest this serene stroll through Mirogoj’s arcades to anyone craving a quiet getaway. This is a place where each step whispers stories from Croatia’s vibrant past. 

Mirogoj and Eternity


Why visit a cemetery, you ask? Because Mirogoj is a masterpiece, where art meets death, connecting the concepts of beauty and eternity. We see it as

  • one of the most beautiful museums,
  • a tranquil escape,
  • a bridge between the land of the living and the land of the dead. 

If you appreciate art entwined with history, embark on a serene journey through Mirogoj’s arcades. Each step is a bridge between worlds, where stories echo and the past gently beckons. Let Mirogoj be your muse in Zagreb’s rich tapestry – a poetic journey through art, history, and the eternal beauty of Croatia. 

Your CTC Team

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