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Tatar Cemetery

Tatar Cemetery

A cemetery has been established in Vinksnupiai, on an area of almost one hectare of land (according to the Register of Cultural Property, 9546 square metres) since the 18th century, when the Tatars came to live in the area. The cemetery is located just 500 m from the Vinksnupiai Manor and is clearly visible to the naked eye. The cemetery is the burial place of, besides many others, members of the Baranowski family, whose roots date back to the time of Vytautas the Great.

The monuments are badly deteriorated, distorted, and vandalised, but the inscriptions on some of them are still legible to the naked eye. The oldest surviving gravestone dates from 1810. The texts are carved in Arabic, Polish and Russian languages. The most ornate obelisks date from the mid-19th to the early 20th century.

A walk through the Tatar cemetery shows that the cemetery used to be surrounded by a fence made of natural field stones.

The Old Tatar Cemetery of Vinksnupiai is included in the Register of Cultural Property as a state protected object. The historical (memorial) significance of the cemetery, preserved on a small upland area of 0.95 hectares, is determined by the various small landscape architectural structures and forms of fine art, such as stone tombstones. There are inscriptions and epitaphs in Polish, Arabic and Russian languages about the age, marital status and service positions of the Tatars buried here. The inscriptions are carved in script or block letters, in a wide variety of fonts. There are tombstones marked only with a crescent moon sickle. The oldest surviving gravestone dates from 1810.

Stone tombstones

Small landscape architectural structures and forms of fine art: stone tombstones (-; there are inscriptions and epitaphs in Polish, Arabic and Russian languages about the age, marital status and service positions of the Tatars buried here. The inscriptions are carved in script or block letters in a noticeably wide variety of fonts. There are tombstones marked only with a crescent moon sickle. The most ornate grey granite obelisks were built in the mid-19th early 20th centuries. The oldest surviving tombstone was built in 1810. Some of the monuments are distorted, the inscriptions are hardly readable, the condition is satisfactory; FF No 4, 6-9; 2013): the fence is made of natural field stones (height 0,30 m: only a fragment of the stone fence that surrounded the entire cemetery territory is preserved on the south-eastern edge of the cemetery, its condition is satisfactory; FF No 2; 2013).

Many Tatar and Lithuanian people who made their mark on the history of the Lithuanian nation are buried here: the son of the border guard general Vilčinskas, J. Vilčinskas (died in 1907), Joseph Chasanovic – the son of the Imam of Vinksnupiai, the participant of the rebellion of 1863, Captain Aleksandras Bučackis (died in 1864) and others.

Transcription of Mustafa Baranowski’s tombstone from l824

Major General Mustafa Baranowski, a famous participant of the Kosciuszko Rebellion, who died in 1800, is buried in the old Tatar cemetery in Vinksnupiai. His ancestor Tuhan Baranowski came to Lithuania from Dagestan during the reign of Vytautas the Great. One of the family members received Vinksnupiai and the surrounding villages for his service, married a Lithuanian woman, and after that a widespread and warlike Baranowski family spread widely.

1.   Lā illā Allāh,

2.   Muhammad rasūl Allāh.

3.   Mustafa Baranowski

4.   Z Makowszczyny.

5.   D [nia] 22 paździe [rnika]

6.    1824r[oku].

Other famous burials

1.   Elisabeth Baranowska, in 1766 (1746?) m.,

2.   Marianna Ulan, 1863 m.,

3.   Gen. Mustafa Baranovvski, 1800 m.

The old Tatar cemetery of Vinksnupiai is also included in tourist routes.

During the landscaping of the site, a granite memorial stone was placed in 2008 to commemorate the cemetery.

The cemetery is maintained by the Bartninkai Municipality. In the spring of 2008, thanks to the care of the then head of the municipality (Petras Čirvinskas), the old Tatar cemetery, which had been neglected until then, was freed from the undergrowth, the monuments, which were in a critical condition, were raised and cleaned up, and a commemorative memorial stone was placed in the cemetery’s grounds to mark the importance of the object.

Tatar Cemetery in photos

Tatar Cemetery ir the publications