on the Crossroads of Empires

WW1 Cemeteries in Poland

  • vleeshuis, Ypres
  • lecture


During World War I, the area between the Baltic Sea and the Carpathians was the battleground where three empires - Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia - faced each other. Soldiers lost their lives there in military operations and hospitals, resulting in the construction of hundreds of cemeteries and the erection of monuments. Among them, these differed greatly in terms of architecture, commemorative symbolism or nationality.

Kamil Ruszała is a lecturer in Modern History at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and in his lecture

Architectures of Remembrance on the Crossroads of Empires
The First World War Cemeteries in Poland

he explores the creation of the commemorative landscape in Galicia. This region, in southern Poland, used to be part of the Habsburg monarchy. For the Austrian military establishment, cemeteries and monuments were incredibly important in shaping the official commemorative narrative. Ruszała highlights Austrian imperial narratives of war heroism in architecture and also outlines the adjustments that followed after 1918 and after 1945.


  • welcome and introduction by Pieter Trogh
  • lecture by Kamil Ruszała
  • reception


Thursday 5 October 2023
at 8pm
Vleeshuis (Neermarkt, Ieper)