Dedicated to alternative travel, Lost Lara chronicles the morbid, the macabre, the Soviet and the straight-up strange.


Ukraine Countdown Day 9: Cemeteries

This Countdown series was written and created with Instagram in mind. It has been republished here with little to no alteration.

Ukrainian cemeteries can teach you a lot about the ever shifting tides of power, war, language and religion that come together to form the country’s history. In one cemetery, you may see graves written in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German, and Hebrew. There are many, many war cemeteries. There are mass graves from the Holocaust. 

The graves are often completely different to that which is typical in the English-speaking world: often there are busts, etchings or photographs of the deceased; sometimes there are stark metal crosses with varying levels of ironwork detail. Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv is famous for being one of the world’s oldest ornamental cemeteries. Chernivtsi Jewish Cemetery is famous as one of the most intact Jewish Cemeteries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Baikove Cemetery – Kyiv
Lychakiv Cemetery – Lviv
Polish War Graves at Lychakiv Cemetery – Lviv
Jewish Cemetery – Chernivtsi
War Memorial – Shchyets
This grave from 1948 translates as “Died at the hands of Ukrainian-German Nationalists” and despite being just outside Lviv in the west of Ukraine (very pro-Ukrainian), it is written in Russian. I have no answers, only questions!
Vovkiv Cemetery – Typical etching of a deceased relative
Vovkiv Cemetery – Typical iron cross
Opory Cemetery – Typical iron cross
Opory Cemetery – This grave from 1895 is written in Latin
Jewish Cemetery (abandoned) Babyn Yar – Kyiv
It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered by the Nazis at Babyn Yar during WWII. A concentration camp was also built in the area.

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