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Alter Johannisfriedhof, Leipzig

#10 of 18 in Historic Sites in Leipzig
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Alter Johannisfriedhof ("Old St. John's Cemetery") is the oldest burial ground in the city of Leipzig, Germany. It began in 1278, as part of the Johannishospital (St. John's Hospital) in Leipzig, a leper hospital. It was later attached to the Johanniskirche (St. John's Church), which was destroyed in World War II. In 1536 it became the common burial ground for the city of Leipzig, and expanded several times. It was also re-modeled in the style of the Camposanto in Pisa, a popular style of cemetery in Germany. In 1680 and 1805 the graveyard was expanded by the additions of sections three and four respectively, then the fifth and the final extension took place between 1827 and 1863. 1883 saw its last burial.

In 1981 the graveyard was closed and comprehensively cleared. 58 monuments and gravestones from the former Neuer Johannisfriedhof, which had similarly been cleared and re-developed as the present Friedenspark, were set up in the south-eastern corner of the Alter Johannisfriedhof. Since 1995 the former burial ground has again been accessible to the public, and is a protected monument as a museum and park.

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  • When you stroll through the passages you can see or get notified about persons and families important for whole Germany. For instance Dr Schreber who is the founder of allotment gardens in the...  more »
  • Despite being out back of the Grassi Museum, there isn't very much grass. Very spacious graveyard with relatively few gravestones.
  • If time wants to talk, one should listen silently between the sheets. The desire for freedom brought captivity, the plague and cholera. In the Middle Ages, a person who was terminally ill was told that he had the plague, but that he did not only speak of the Asian bubonic plague. All the diseases, which were little researched and partly still unknown, such as cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, also some poisonings, anthrax, in some places also leprosy and the holy fire, were called plague, because the crowds have fallen, wasps in early autumn. Guided tours let us look back and who knows, perhaps one finds one or the other truth under ivy and moss. LE Fairytale Fairy
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