Most Russian cities of the 18th century faced a typical problem that stood in the way of their development — chaotic building placement and numerous city cemeteries located almost next to every church. The burials in the urban environment also worsened the sanitary conditions. The outbreaks of endemic diseases such as plague, cholera, smallpox and typhus were quite frequent.
In 1766, the imperial decree ordered Russian Academy of Arts to start the general land surveying. According to the project, all cities and towns of the Russian Empire were to be replanned in accordance with the European standard considering the characteristics of the geographical location and population. The governors were ordered to relocate cemeteries to the suburbs.
Pokrovskaya sloboda was the chosen location for this change in Tambov. In 1770, old wooden St. Peter and Paul church was moved to the new cemetery from Yamskaya sloboda for the burial services to be held in it. The cemetery was called in the name of the church altar consecrated in honor of Saints Peter and Paul. Because of its faraway and inconvenient location, the cemetery was not popular among the rich citizens of those times and that’s why only the poor and simple were buried here.
Many soldiers of the Red Army who died of their wounds in Tambov military hospitals were buried at this cemetery during the World War II. In 2005, the obelisk with the names of the deceased Soviet soldiers was installed near the central entrance to the cemetery. Sculptor V.S. Ostrikov designed the monument. The special area was arranged for the graves of the Nazi prisoners of war died in Tambov forced labor camps.
Today only the burials in the existing family graves are allowed at the cemetery. St. Peter and Paul cemetery has some separate areas for the Muslim and Jewish cemeteries. St. Peter and Paul Orthodox church functions at the cemetery today too.
Источник фотографий: Russia.Travel