Sepulchre in The Salwator Cemetery

Kraków, Poland

The project of the family sepulchre located in the Salwator Cemetery is expressed in a form having the scale and size of traditional tombs from the past, including those located in the historical part of this cemetery . Its shape, derived from that of a classical sarcophagus, is based on the precepts of minimal architecture. However, what is of paramount importance is not the very project of the material block, but values and symbols it represents.

The rectangular form of the monument was “cleft”. Bevelled inwards, the wedge-like recess narrows towards the said cross – the key element of the whole composition. It defines and consolidates geometricity of the sepulchre. Embedded centrally in the cavity (the symbol of a diminishing path which, just like human life, comes closer to the end each day) it constitutes the fulcrum of the whole piece. Situated at the end of the composition and reminding of the inevitability of death, it symbolically extends its arms towards visitors in the act of hospitality, being at the same time the symbol of hope, salvation, and resurrection.

The walls designating the abovementioned slit fan out centrifugally from the cross. Due to which fact the light of candles is mirrored in their burnished sides, creating an illusion of endless reflections surrounding the cross. At night, the light coming from the opening – referred to as the heart of the sepulchre – illuminates the names of the deceased as well as the cross, the sign of the Christ, who – according to Christian teachings – is regarded as “the Light of the world” (John 8:12).

Location: Salwator Cemetery, Krakow, Poland
General Contractor: KRAK-STONE Sp. J.
Project: 2010
Construction: 2011
Client: private
Photographs: Wojciech Mazur, Jakub Turbasa

Jakub Turbasa