Wroclaw - city built on graves 24.03.2011 13:05 A recent archaeological discovery in the western city of Wroclaw proves that the city was built on the remains of a huge cemetery.
A grave dating back to 12th century was discovered during excavation work near the market square in Wroclaw.
“It is older than the city itself and proves that Wroclaw was built on a huge cemetery,” Prof. Jerzy Piekalski, director of the Institute of Archeology at the University of Wroclaw told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.
In 1241, the cemetery was levelled and squares and streets were marked out as part of an urban project (melioratio terrae) implemented by German settlers from Lusatia, Meissen and Thuringia.
“The dead had to give place to the living because the area was too attractive. Sacrum was defeated by a good deal,” says Cezary Busko, who formulated the hypothesis that a vast necropolis lies under the Wroclaw Old Town.
In 1980s over forty graves from 12th century were discovered under St Elizabeth Church, which the archaeologists now believe were also a part of a vast necropolis.
Wroclaw is not the only city built on graves.
Last year, Cezary Busko discovered many graves under the Main Square in the historical city of Krakow.
“Slavs who settled in Krakow found graves while building their houses but either exhumed the remains or built upon them. After all, the dead have no voice,” says Busko.