Krizevci Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Koprivničko-križevačka županija
Site address
The cemetery is located across the street from 51, Koruška Street.
GPS coordinates
46.019833, 16.531283
Perimeter length
187 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is surrounded by a metal mesh fence about 1 metre high. The fence is damaged in multiple places.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is relatively well-maintained.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Križevci is the oldest town in Koprivnica-Križevci County, located 57 km from Zagreb. The ancient Croatian town in Prigorye was first mentioned in records in 1209. The notion of Croatian statehood was founded and defended there. In the Middle Ages, Križevci was a fully operational town, having gained the status and prerogatives of a free royal town, and was the centre of Križev county. Later, under Turkish rule, the town and its surrounding areas were burned several times. The economic and demographic renewal of the town began in the 17th century. At this time, relations between civil and military authorities were stabilized, roads were repaired, and trade flourished.

Jewish merchants first visited Križevci in the 16th century. The Jews who settled in the area came from Moravia and Austria. Jews initially settled in villages near the town as a 1729 ban prohibited their settlement in the town proper. Every Jew (until the mid-19th century) paid a tax of 2 forints for the right to trade and live in the town. While an organized Jewish community was established by 1844, one Jewish merchant was granted official resident status in 1830. In 1844 there were 10 Jewish families living in the town, and in 1899 there were 210 Jewish individuals in Križevci. Most of the members of the community were merchants or people of free professions. The Jewish community was moreover noted for their knowledge of all the spoken languages of the area. In 1895 a beautiful synagogue was erected in the town, the construction of which cost 45,000 forints. One famous rabbi from Križevci was Rabbi Leopold Leib who served the community from 1866 to 1895. Some Jews from the town served and died during World War I and a monument was erected in the New Jewish cemetery in their memory. The Jewish population in the Križevci later declined because of the post-war economic crisis. By the 1930’s, only 183 Jews remained in the town. The Jews of Križevci suffered a tragic fate during the Holocaust. The synagogue was desecrated and looted, and the Jews were sent to the concentration camps. After the war only 9 Jews returned to the town. The local authorities did not return the synagogue to the Jewish residents, turning it into the House of Culture instead (now it currently is a tourist centre). By 1960 there were only 2 Jews left living in the town.

The first “Old” Jewish cemetery in Križevci was established in 1840, around the same time the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) was formed. The Jewish community used the cemetery until 1899 when the new cemetery was built. When the old cemetery was nationalized in 1958, there were about 70 tombstones. The oldest tombstone dates to 1838 and the latest to 1891.