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The cemetery on Groniczek Hill

district: Centrum

The oldest cemetery in Wisła is located on a hill between the Vistula river and one of its tributaries - Kopydło - about 400 meters to the left of the road from the roundabout in Oaza in the direction to Istebna. On the way to the cemetery, on the right, there is an impressive villa ‘Jodła’ built in the inter-war period in so-called Witkiewicz style (it used to be called ‘Zakopianka’).

The protestant cemetery ‘On Groniczek’ was opened in 1819 and the cemetery chapel was built in 1948.

The main alley of the cemetery is lined with tombs of some eminent citizens of Wisła. In the eighth row to the left from the entrance there is the tomb of Andrzej Podżorski (1886 – 1971) a teacher, a social worker, the creator and then the first head of the Beskid Museum. A little above it there is the wooden tomb of Kazimiera Chobotowa (1897 – 1976) a teacher and a co-organizer of the first in Wisła secondary school.

Above those tombs, a little further from the main alley one can see a modest tomb of Jan Sztwiertnia (1911 – 1940) a teacher and a very talented musician whose career was stopped by the war. The first tomb on the right is the one of a priest Michał Kupferschmidt (1783 – 1867) the first pastor of the Lutheran Protestant parish in Wisła and the main initiator of the building of the protestant church in the centre of the town. The tomb of his son - Gustaf Kuperschmidt, who was also a pastor is next to it. Thanks to his efforts the secondary school in Wisła was given the status of a public school and some extra funds from the archduke. The next tomb is the one of Karol Samiec, a pastor who died in an accident a few years ago. In the next row there is the tomb of Professor Andrzej Wantuła (1905 – 19760) who was a pastor of the parish in Wisła, then the bishop of the Lutheran Protestant Church in Poland and a vice- president of the World Lutheran Federation, an ex –prisoner of the concentration camps in Dachau and Gusen during the Second World War. Above his tomb, a little further there is the tomb of Jerzy Drozd (1907 – 1981) a teacher and the director of the Music School in Cieszyn but also a co-organizer of the Song and Dance Band of Cieszyn land. Right in front of the cemetery chapel there is the tomb of Józef Goszyk (1865 – 1955) the headmaster of the school in the centre of Wisła. Next to the chapel two plaques with the names of the victims of World War II can be seen. On the right side of the chapel one can see the tomb of the so called ‘King of Wisła’ Mr. Paweł Raszka who was the mayor of Wisła for 47 years. Actually, Mr. Raszka was buried in the first row of the cemetery together with two other people.

A little above the chapel there is the tomb of Adam Niedoba (1906 – 1972) a teacher from Głębce, the creator of the Folk Band ‘Wisła’ and the author of the informal anthem of the highlanders from Wisła – ‘Szumi jawor, szumi…’

In the fourth row above the chapel there are two important tombs: the first one is the tomb of Artur Cienciała (1914 – 1985) a well known sculptor, the author of dozens of sculptures of eminent Poles and the second is the tomb of Professor Stanisław Hadyna – the organizer and the director of the national Dance and Song Ensemble ‘ Silesia “. Not far from that place, a little further from the main alley one can see a tomb in a form of a big stone. That is the tomb of Mr. Bogumił Hoff (1829 – 1895) the discoverer of Wisła as a tourist resort and a spa, his wife and his son Bogdan (1865 – 1932) the architect of several impressive buildings in Wisła and its very fervent popularizer. The author of the tomb of Hoff family was Artur Cienciała.

After visiting the cemetery it is advised to leave it through the main gate from where you can go either to the right, to Kopydło or to the left to Jonidło.

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