Prague christens the Czech Republic's first eco-friendly cemetery

Unique among Prague's cemeteries, Lucní takes on the appearance of a flowering meadow. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 09.09.2023 10:00:00 (updated on 11.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague has officially opened the Czech Republic's first nature-based cemetery, providing an ecologically-friendly burial option. Located within the grounds of Ďáblice Cemetery, the meadow-like Lucní Cemetery is the first burial site in the country designated for direct soil burials.

The natural space, supplemented by an open-air pavilion, has a capacity of 350 plots and was established by the cemetery services of Prague, the city's cemetery and funeral services organization.

"Each of us has different traditions and perspectives on life's major rituals, so we should have options to say goodbye according to our own wishes. There is growing interest in less formal ceremonies and sites connected with nature, as well as sustainable, eco-friendly burials," said Alexandra Udženija, Prague's Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Health.

Unique among Prague's cemeteries, Lucní takes on the appearance of a flowering meadow. Burial plots are delineated by mown paths between sections of lawns, maintaining the landscape's natural character. Services will occur within a simple pavilion located at the site's center.

City of Prague
City of Prague

Individual graves will not have visible markers, monuments, or headstones, to avoid disrupting the meadow environment. The deceased will be commemorated with only wooden plaques listing names, dates, and optional inscriptions.

Bodies at Lucní Cemetery must be buried in biodegradable coffins, those made from untreated, unlacquered wood or wicker without plastic adornments. Similar natural material requirements apply to any lining or clothes of the deceased. Direct soil burials wrapped only in a shroud, common elsewhere internationally, are still not permitted under Czech law.

City of Prague
City of Prague

"Prague's municipal funeral services have been carefully listening to the bereaved and accommodating their needs," said Martin Červený, Director of Hřbitovy a pohřební služby hl. m. Prahy. "We are gradually expanding our offerings, changing entrenched stereotypes, and combining traditional funeral practices with modern European trends, in addition to natural burials, we support various alternative farewell options."

The city first pioneered eco-friendly burials in 2015 by establishing Les vzpomínek, or Memorial Forest, also within Ďáblice Cemetery. There, ashes are placed among growing trees either in biodegradable urns or directly, honored with small wooden markers instead of monuments.

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