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Original scientific paper

Neoclassical orthodox cemetery

Branko Čolović ; Srpsko kulturno društvo Prosvjeta, Knin, Hrvatska

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (641 KB) pages 125-141 downloads: 455* cite
APA 6th Edition
Čolović, B. (2015). Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja. Adrias, (21), 125-141. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Čolović, Branko. "Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja." Adrias, vol. , no. 21, 2015, pp. 125-141. Accessed 13 Nov. 2019.
Chicago 17th Edition
Čolović, Branko. "Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja." Adrias , no. 21 (2015): 125-141.
Čolović, B. (2015). 'Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja', Adrias, (21), pp. 125-141. Available at: (Accessed 13 November 2019)
Čolović B. Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja. Adrias [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2019 November 13];(21):125-141. Available from:
B. Čolović, "Klasicizam pravoslavnog groblja", Adrias, vol., no. 21, pp. 125-141, 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13 November 2019]

Only the beginning of the so-called second Austrian rule in Dalmatia brought about the implementation of progressive communal regulations, including the one banning burials inside churches and within city walls. This regulation required adjustment also on the part of the Orthodox community living in coastal towns, which used to have their own separate burial section in a communal cemetery, usually with a separate chapel. This was the case in Zadar and in Dubrovnik, while in Šibenik, the members of the Orthodox church had their own separate cemetery as early as the 16th century, located in a suburb called Varoš. The Orthodox citizens; Greeks, Bulgarians, Cincars and , by the middle of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the ever-growing number of Serb merchants, landowners and civil servants used their sepulchral symbols to emphasize not only their religious affiliation, but also their desire to integrate into the cultural circle in which they found themselves in. To this end, they adjusted to the new aesthetics, fashion and taste of their time using specific traditional infiltrations. A vast array of tombstones – stelae, pyramids, the use of classical decorative motifs – acroteria, kymas, channeled columns, classical orders, indented iconography of reliefs and symbolism – uroboros, clepsydras, garlands, wreaths, inverted torches , inherited from the prevailing classical concepts typical of those times enriched by the Eastern iconography motifs – trefoil ends of the crosses, iconic representations and unavoidable Cyrillic epigraphy. Unlike the secular and monastic clergy generally more inclined to widest variety of neo-stylistic tombs, laymen, merchants, landowners and high-ranking civil servants mostly adopted Neoclassicism which more closely corresponded to their status in communities where, until recently, they had played significant roles. This is plainly visible in the preserved texts of the inscriptions whose significance is proportional to the size and the paraphernalia of the monument itself, especially because their content draws attention to their national origin, community service, contributions to community in form of trust funds and donations, some tombstones thus becoming a place of pilgrimage. A relatively modest number of grave markings of specific stylistic characteristics objectively act as a substitute for public sculpture of squares and open spaces, because neither Serbs, nor the Croats from that period were able to realise that type of national origin prominence within the constantly suspicious Habsburg realm. Stictly limited space of an Orthodox cemetery in this way demonstrates the characteristics of a public space. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how, by adopting the Neoclassical aesthetic tenets, the Orthodox bourgeoisie of that time displayed not only their social prestige, even if post mortem, but also their specific status by which they tried to reconcile their religious identity with the desirable integration into the dominant Catholic society.

classical motifs; symbolism; Cyrillic epigraphy, public monuments

Hrčak ID: 149987



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