Lazarevskoe Cemetery

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Lazarevskoe Cemetery

Lazarevskoe Cemetery (Russian: Лазаревское кладбище) is a historic cemetery in the centre of Saint Petersburg, and the oldest surviving cemetery in the city. It is part of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, and is one of four cemeteries in the complex. Since 1932 it has been part of the State Museum of Urban Sculpture, which refers to it as the Necropolis of the XVIII century (Russian: некрополь XVIII века). It covers 0.7 hectares.

The cemetery came into existence with the establishment of the city of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century. With the death of Peter's sister, Natalya Alexeyevna, in 1716, Peter instructed that she be buried in the grounds of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, which was under development at that time. In 1717 Natalya Alexeyevna was interred in the Church of St Lazarus, the first stone building in the monastery complex, and from which the cemetery took its name. The location soon became the burial site for other members of Peter's family and court, and became the most prestigious burial ground in the city, requiring Peter's personal permission to be interred there. The remains of Natalya Alexeyevna and other members of the imperial family were reinterred in the monastery's Annunciation Church soon after their original burial, but the church and cemetery complex remained popular sites for the St Petersburg elites, and many noble families established their family plots here.

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