Lviv Old Jewish Cemetery on Shpytalna Street

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery was located on the site between today’s Bazarna, Brovarna, Kleparivs'ka and Rappaporta streets.
GPS coordinates
49.84525, 24.01740
Perimeter length
884 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Krakivs'kyy marketplace and the yard of the City Hospital were built over the cemetery site.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
There is a memorial installed by the Ohalei tzadikim union dedicated to the former cemetery and great and known rabbis buried there.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. First, it appears on Polish topographic maps of the 1930s. Now there are no visible traces of the cemetery and its boundaries. It is unknown when the cemetery was demolished.

The Jews and Karaites settled in the city in the mid-13th century when the city was founded. From the14th till 19th century, two Jewish communities existed. These community had their synagogues and community institutions, but they used a cemetery that was emerged in 1441 together. In 1550, the Jews numbered 559 and 352 in these two communities. In the 15th century, the local Jewish community played a significant role in building rapport with Turks. In the mid-17th and 18th century, the Sabbateanism and Frankism were spread among the Lviv Jews. The Hasidic dynasties became active in the late 18th century. In 1838 seven Hasidic synagogues operated. The emergence of the Haskala movement faced resistance in religious circles. In 1844, a reform synagogue was established. By the late 19th century, the Zionist movement became active. In the mid-18th century, the Jews were allowed to enter high schools and universities. In 1910, 1,500 (33%) Jews were enrolled in L’viv university. During the WWI, the Jews were attacked by the Cossack troops in 1915 and suffered the pogroms (in May and November 1918) which claimed the lives of 206 Jews. In the interwar period, Lviv community became one of the main Jewish centres in Poland. Three Jewish high schools provided instruction in Polish and a Hebrew pedagogic institute maintained by the community. From the late 19th century until WWII, L’viv was one of the centres of the Jewish typography. The Jewish population grew intensively from around 31,000 in 1880 to 57,000 (27,8% of the total population) in 1910. In the interwar period, the Jewish population was constantly increasing: in 1921 it numbered 76,900 and reached 109,500 (33% of the total population) by 1939. The figure of 150,000 Jews resided in L’viv shown the incessant flow of the refugees from German-occupied Poland. In late June 1941, the Wehrmacht troops occupied L’viv. 3,000 Jews were murdered, the Jewish cemeteries were vandalised, and the synagogues were burnt during the pogrom on the first days of occupation. In early 1942, the Janowska concentration camp was established. During the occupation, about 13,000-15,000 Jews perished in the camp. In March 1942, the Jews were deported to the Belzec death camp. On August 10-23, 1941, around 40,000 Jews were executed, remnants were placed in the L’viv Ghetto. 3,400 Jews were registered in L’viv after the liberation. The synagogue operated after WWII and was expropriated in 1962. In 1988, the Jewish religious community was registered, and in a year a synagogue building was returned to the community. The chess grandmaster Alexander Beliavsky (born in 1953), a mathematician Mark Vishik (1921 – 2012) and many other famous Jews were born in L’viv.

3D model