World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database
The Tomb with a monument of the Fallen Warriors in the Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia
The initiative to build a joint tomb for the exhumation and transfer of the earthly remains of around 3300, of 3700, soldiers of World War I who died in Zagreb hospitals and were buried in the Mirogoj cemetery was launched in 1927 by the Zagreb City Administration; however, noting was done in that regard until 1931. The lower part of the tomb or the ossuary was completed in 1934 when the process of exhumation was conducted, while the exterior part of the tomb without the monument was covered with Bizek rock and was completed in 1935. The ossuary is divided into several rooms which house the “Slavs and other nations”, containing around 2800 skeletons, another room holds the remains of about 450 “Hungarians” and another the remains of about 110 “Austrians”. In order to facilitate the exhumation, the “Association of reserve officers and warriors of sub-committee in Zagreb” submitted a request to the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary to permit the exhumation and transfer of the remains of their soldiers into the tomb based on agreements signed in 1919 and 1920.
Due to insufficient financial resources in the 1938 City Budget, there was no initiative to tend to the completion of the upper section of the tomb or to put up a monument. Tenders were invited in 1938 for the construction of a monument and after a series of financial and legal issues the monument “Pieta” by the sculptor duo Vanja Raduš and Jozo Turkalj, was finally raised in March 1940 and the tomb was officially presented to the public.
In 1994 the association “Hrtvatski domobran” (Croatian Home Guard), without consulting the archives and not having any knowledge of the contents of the ossuary, placed a plaque on the base of the monument carrying the sign “In memory of the fallen Croatian soldiers in the First Wold War 1914 – 1918” which only partially corresponds to the true facts. The first repairs to the tomb were conducted in 2004 when the tomb gained its current appearance. The second reconstruction was conducted in 2014 to mark the centenary of WWI and that is when the ossuary was entered and the facts mentioned above confirmed.
Research to date has determined that the tomb contains the remains of 3300 soldiers of various nationalities (Croats, Hungarians, Austrians, Serbs, Slovenes, citizens of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Russians, Rumanians, Montenegrins and Czechs). As the list is still being complied, the exact number of soldiers buried there and their nationality are yet to be exactly defined.
Type of WWI-heritage
- War monument
The tomb occupies about 200 m2 and the monument is about 8 meters high.
State of repair/preservation
Historical WWI Context
With the First World War, Zagreb became one of the many centers for the care of wounded and sick soldiers who were brought in from the battlefield, and therefore an eternal resting place for the smaller part of those who had no luck. The deceased soldiers were mostly buried in the central Zagreb cemetery in Mirogoj. Every dead officer as well as an ordinary soldier, regardless of which military camp he belonged, was secured a grave site where, depending on religion, he was buried in separate graves. Thus Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Greek Catholics and Protestants were buried in Catholic graves while soldiers of Jewish faith were buried in a separate section of the cemetery as well as soldiers of Muslim religion. Each grave was made in the form of a burial, marked with an appropriate religious denomination, in which the oval plate number plate, name and surname, the act, the military unit and the date of death were placed in German and Croatian. Overall, during the war 1914-1918 and in the first months of 1919, around 3700 soldiers who died in numerous civilian and military hospitals in Zagreb and the Red Cross hospitals, were buried at Mirogoj.
State of legal protection
Zaštićeno Zakonom o grobljima i Zakonom o zaštiti spomenika kulture
City of Zagreb owns it and “Gradska groblja” (City graveyards) manages it
Kind of cultural use of WWI
From 01.04. to 30.10. 06.00 – 20.00
From 01.11. to 31.03. 07.30 – 18.00
Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby
Further information sources
Other heritage sites nearby
Museums Private Collections
The Tomb with a monument of the Fallen Warriors in the Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia45.83581203057885 15.988671334473452 fileadmin/res/images/layout/standar-marker.png