Baligrod Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Subcarpathian Voivodeship
District
Lesko
Settlement
Baligród
Site address
From Wojska Polskiego Street, proceed to Jana Duplaka street. There are signs and two entrances - on the right and left, up the hill.
GPS coordinates
49.33781, 22.28354
Perimeter length
487 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is unfenced and heavily overgrown with trees and bushes. Many of the matzevah are partially broken. There is an information board about the cemetery and a sign with directions.
Number of existing gravestones
42. According to the information board at the site, the earliest gravestone is from 1716. According to sztetl.org it's from 1731, and there are around 250 tombstones. Based on the pictures from the survey team there are 42, however the cemetery is overgrown so there may be other not found by the team.
Date of oldest tombstone
1734
Date of newest tombstone
1908
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Baligród was founded between 1600 and 1615 as a private town. The town rights were granted in 1634. The earliest mention of individual Jewish residents dates to 1605. In 1710, 148 Jews lived in Baligród, which was 28% of the total population. The height of the Jewish population was in the interwar period, with 1,000 Jews in 1930 (58%). Jews were granted lands for community buildings on the northern frontage of the market square, a synagogue and beit midrash were located there with a cemetery further north.

The cemetery was established at least as early as the mid-17th century and was in use until the Holocaust. It is located about 200m north-west of the market square, outside the dense town. Its grounds are laid out in an elongated, irregular polygon. The cadastral map from 1850 shows the final area of 0.95 hectares, which is still the same today. On the western side the cemetery borders a street, behind which there are residential buildings, and in the past, there were fields or gardens. On the southern side it borders a dirt road, behind which there are fields. Its northern border is natural, in the form of a steep slope. Its western border is currently unclear, as the area of the cemetery blends with an arable field. The entrance to the cemetery is on its eastern side. Next to the entrance, there was a building, likely a funeral home, located in the cemetery.

The cemetery was devastated during World War II. The matzevot were used for construction purposes, including hardening the surface of the market square, where they remain, although now they are covered with a new surface layer. Around 300 tombstones in various conditions have survived in the cemetery, mostly in their original places. The oldest matzevah is from 1716, and the inscription with the year of its origin remains untouched. There are several damaged tombstones, likely from the 17th century. The newest matzevot date to the 1930s. The traditional layout of graves is visible in the cemetery. Tombstones are arranged in regular rows from north-west to south-east. These are partitioned into male and female sections. Tombstones are mostly made of local flysch sandstone which has been subject to natural erosion. Some of the early tombstones are made of limestone and some 20th-century ones are made of concrete and terrazzo. The preserved tombstones are traditional stelas. In some cases, there is a block lined up along the grave, there is also one obelisk. Tombstones from the second half of the 18th century and the 19th century are richly decorated with plant and animal motifs with folk art characteristics. The area of the cemetery is covered with decade old tree and bush growth. The cemetery was entered into the Register of Monuments in 1990.

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