The cemetery of San Eufrasio. The silenced death

🔎 The cemetery of San Eufrasio as a pending heritage of Jaén

💬 Reading the title of this article, probably such questions spring to mind: “How can the cemetery be a cultural monument?”, “Why is the cemetery something I want to see when visiting Jaén?”. Let me by the end of this article change your association with a cemetery and show you what an open history book it can be for the city of Jaén. 📖

Entrance of the cemetary
Photo Credit: “Diario Jaén”

Тo introduce you to the topic I suggest you read this great poem written by the jinnense poetess María Angeles Solis.

The silenced death

(María Angeles Solis)

Time left its mark

on the silent stones,

and the whistling of the wind 

caressed the empty tombs,

flooded with horror

by this imposed oblivion.

To die is not to be dead, to die is to be forgotten. 

And those tombs we no longer visit

are keeping the bones

of our ancestors.

Year after year, staring into the emptiness

to which they were condemned.

The mausoleums, saddened,

recite prayers for the children who never cried.

The graves in the ground

embrace every remnant of love

that once bloomed.

Leaning crosses,

broken slabs,

erased names...

Is the silent pain of our cemetery.

Translated by Iliyana Stefanova Yordanova

Original text
Photo Credit: IUVENTA association

🔎Let's start from here...who is San Eufrasio? 

Every citizen of Jaén knows, at least by hearsay, San Eufrasio (English: Euphrasius of Illiturgis). Well, San Eufrasio since he was bishop of the city of Andujar in the first century, is considered one of the Seven Apostolic Men. Little is known about this saint, except that he was martyred in the province of Jaén and his remains were taken to the church of Santa María do Mao in Lugo. Perhaps the story most closely related to this saint is having brought from Rome, the relic of Santo Rostro (English: Veil of Veronica) to Jaén.

*For more information about San Eufrasio and the relic of Santo Rostro you can check our article about the Jaén Cathedral.

Poster of St. Euphrasius 2018
Photo Credit: “Cadena SER”
The cemetery
Credit: “Información Andalucía”

 

 

🔎The cemetery of San Eufrasio

The dedication of the cemetery to San Eufrasio came from the fact that he was the patron saint of the bishopric of Jaén. The cemetery is the oldest in Jaén with more than two centuries of history behind its walls. 

The tombs, pantheons, and mausoleums have a great historical value and allow us to trace a sketch of the history of Jaén through the memory of the illustrious people buried in the cemetery. Examples include the tomb of Bernardo López with an allegory of poetry. A gravestone in English of the engineer of the Oil train, another modernist tombstone of Martínez Molina or another of Egyptian inspiration written in Hebrew of a Jew who died in Jaén, or the tomb of the artist José Nogué, who painted his father and his wife on the sepulcher.

🔎The 702 pit

In the cemetery of San Eufrasio are buried most of the reprisals of Franco's regime, after the end of, in the province of Jaén. 1,026 victims are buried in grave 702, located on the right side of the cemetery. An interesting fact is that In 1985 there was an earth movement and hundreds of  bodies surfaced; afterwards a 132 square metre  platform was built.