The history of the Basilian Cemetery dates back to 1760, to the time when the monastery in Kremenets was founded. At first, the cemetery was a burial place of priests and friars. After the order was dissolved, the college buildings of Jesuits and the monastery of Basilians were adapted to act as the Volhynian Gymnasium opened in 1805, renamed to the Kremenets Lyceum in 1819. Since that time, the cemetery near the school area has been the final resting place of the teachers teaching in the school – and of their family members.
Among the more than 40 existing grave markers there are those of Willald Besser, botanist, Józef Sanders, graphic artist, Józef Czech, mathematician, Antoni Strzelecki, Russian teacher, and principals of the school: Michał Ściborski and Andrzej Lewicki.
Some of the memorials need an urgent conservation intervention. Thanks to the clean-up handled by volunteers, the cemetery site will be prepared for the activities to be carried out by professional conservators. The project is a big step towards making the site available to visitors, translating into dissemination of the knowledge about Polish heritage abroad.
In the first week of September 2018, students from the Tadeusz Czacki High School in Warsaw and the Cultural Heritage Foundation’s volunteers went to Kremenets in the Ukraine. The clean-up they engaged in at the cemetery in Kremenets became an excellent opportunity to delve into the past and gain a better insight into the tradition and history ofKresy[Eastern Borderlands], and to get to know the local community and discover the face of the Kremenets of today.
As part of the clean-up activities, our volunteers removed branches, shrubs, and young wild-growing trees from the site of the Basilian necropolis. The trip gave its participants also many opportunities to hear some rare accounts of the past, try some local cuisine, take part in sightseeing tours, and get to know the youth studying in the building of the former Kremenets Lyceum and the Polish families living behind the eastern border.
The project was carried out by the Association of Academic Traditions and the Cultural Heritage Foundation, and financed by “Polonika” National Institute of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad.