South Tyrol: Brunico’s War Cemetery

One of the most beautiful places in Brunico (Bruneck, to give it its German name) is the war cemetery, or cimitero di guerra, situated on a hill just to the south of the old town centre. The walk up the hill takes you past several small lakes, shaded by towering larch trees.

Brunico housed several military hospitals during the First World War, meaning that a large number of soldiers who were fighting on the Dolomite front passed away in the town. When it was no longer possible to bury the bodies in the local cemetery, a second one was placed on the slopes of the Kühbergl. Drawn up by Austrian architect Bechtold and built by Russian prisoners, it was designed specificially to blend well into the forest backdrop, spread out over various levels, smoothly sloping like the hill, and with simple wooden grave markers.

It is home to 669 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army, as well as Russians, Serbs and Romanians. Various religions are at rest side-by-side here too, including Catholics, Christians and Muslims, with a different section of the cemetery dedicated to each. Since 1921 the cemetery has been looked after by an association of women who give equal care and attention to each and every grave.

cimitero di guerra in brunico bruneck, alto adige

war cemetery brunico bruneck cimitero di guerra

Tree reflections on the lakes on the way up to the cemetery

war cemetery bruneck brunico cimitero di guerra soldatenfriedhof

war cemetery bruneck brunico cimitero di guerra soldatenfriedhof tyrol alto adige