Rossa Cemetery (Pol. Cmentarz na Rossie) is an old cemetery in Vilnius. Since Vilnius used to be a center of Polish culture, there are a lot of Polish famous people, including heart of Pilsudski, buried there. It's one of the oldest still existing cemeteries in Central Europe and the world.
Founded in 1769 by Bazyli Miller , the mayor of Wilno, in the place of ancient pagan temple and a small plague necropoly. He was also the first person to be buried there. In 1801 a chapel and belltower were built.
Part of the cemetery contans graves of Polish Home Army soldiers, who fell during the Wilno Uprising. Their graves, demolished after the war, were rebuilt by the Polish state in 1993.
Whole Rossa cemetery was to be destroyed in the 1980s as the Soviet authorities planned a major motorway to be built directly through the cemetery. Fortunately, a press campaign led by Polish-language "Czerwony Sztandar" (Red Banner) newspaper and economical difficulties halted the destruction.
Rossa is a burial place for many famous Poles. At the Rossa cemetery there are also graves of famous Belarussians and Lithuanians.
I visited famous Rasu Cemetery (Rasu kapines), founded in 1801. There were many famous Poles, Lithuanians and Belarusians burried there which proves multicultural past of Vilnius. The most special for me was surely the tomb with a half of the heart of Polish hero, Marshall Pilsudski.
I drove to the cemetery by my car. There was small (free and unguarded) parking lot close to the entrance where a few buses from Poland were parked. There were 3 tables with umbrellas where locals sold some souvenirs, info leaflets and postcards. I bought a guide to Rasu Cemetery (Cmentarz na Rosie) in Polish with a map of graves and short info on each of noble people burried there.
At first I visited seperated area (on my picture) located outside the cemetary fence, left of the entrance gate. There were graves of Polish soldiers who died in 1919-1920 and in 1944 from hands of bolsheviks.