After a few days of overcast skies we were greeted by a sunny winters day, Michele wasn’t feeling well so we thought a visit to the Lovrinac Cemetery (Groblje Lovrinac) would pep her up. After visiting the Old Jewish Cemetery yesterday we were looking for the New Jewish section and Holocaust Monument.
As we were using eyeball instead of satnav we headed south along the road towards Dubrovnik but missed the turn as the sign post was right on the corner. We took a detour at the next road and cut through some of the roughest tracks in Croatia trying to pick up the right road. It was quite interesting to be five minutes from the heart of the city yet surrounded by olive groves and market gardens. A bit like living in the country.
Eventually we found the right road and were parked up at the cemetery. A careful planner would’ve gone on the net and worked out cemetery layout, where we wanted to visit etc.. But it was not to be. Expecting it to be easy to find our way around we course made our way to the map showing an overhead picture of the cemetery. It was well laid out with numbers and letters however, neither of us read croatian. We normally leave that job to mister google and today was his day off. Well what do you? Just wander around aimlessly until you find what you’re looking for.
The first thing we noticed was the rows of graves were separated by hedges along the back of them. It reminded us a bit of the cemeteries in Denmark. The second thing we noticed was how many of the graves and tombs had been decorated for Christmas. There were decorations of poinsettias, christmas pine, eucalyptus, floral wreaths and baskets. There was even pots of wheat grass adorned the tombs. It wasn’t just a case of putting flowers on the grave of a dear departed, but rather celebrating Christmas with the ones they love.
Wandering through the cemetery we came across the German War Cemetery. Set amongst pencil pines a simple field of lavender with three crosses marks the spot where the dead soldiers of the German Army are remembered. Along the front of the memorial a cross was flanked on either side by three boards filled with names of the dead. Unfortunately the book had been removed so we were unsure how many soldiers had been buried here.
This statue was at the opposite entrance to where we entered, her reflective pose was quite captivating. We later discovered she was the one remaining remnant of the old Sustipan cemetery that was demolished and made into a public park.
We continued through the cemetery and came upon the Croatian World War 11 Memorial. A line of concrete markers recording the dead killed at different villages and islands in the region flank the pathway leading to the monument and cave. The monument is fairly simple and is surrounded by flat markers recording the names of those killed in the war. Inside the cave are further memorials to people killed in the region.
Eventually we made our way back to where we’d entered the cemetery and by surprise found the Jewish section just next to where we’d been. H Jewish section is fairly small with maybe thirty graves all up. This graveyard was opened to the Jews in 1945 when the old Jewish cemetery was closed.
Even before we entered the Jewish Cemetery a bronze statue of a family on a tomb stands out. With a baby on her hip and a child at her feet the mother is the core of the family, with various family members surrounding her. It tells the story of the families loss. On the tomb each persons name who were exterminated is recorded, reminding us that these people mattered and will be remembered.
The bench seats which surround the nearby holocaust monument were perfect for quiet contemplation.
After so much sadness it was time to head back to Split, where we visited our favourite restaurant for lunch, a few drinks and just unwind a bit.
As the sun was setting we took a trip out along Marjan, to catch the sunset. Tomorrow we may head over the hills to Sinj.