The expansion of the Cemetery beyond the arcades
After 52 years, the number of persons interred at Mirogoj crossed the threshold of 100,000 in 1928. The central section of the Cemetery was completed as far as its architectonic form was concerned. New amenities and smaller design elements, whose number and artistic value are hard to determine at present, were gradually added.
In 1934, Mirogoj started to spread outside of the arcades, towards the north, in the surroundings of the present-day Postal Tower. It was the location of the Kaptol vineyards and the estate of the Majcen family, who were practically the hereditary managers of the Cemetery, and who operated a nursery on their estate catering to the Cemetery’s landscaping needs. Due to the long dispute between the city authorities and Mr. Majcen, which was only resolved in 1939, another solution had to be found for the Cemetery’s expansion. The first graves outside of the arcades were thus dug in the northernmost section of the present Cemetery, in line with present-day Postal Tower, and the Cemetery expanded in the opposite direction, from the north to the south. For this reason, the layout of the new section of the Cemetery is not as orderly as it had been the case with the old section. The fields are irregularly shaped, following the configuration of the terrain, but the overall effect is beautiful thanks to the efforts of Engineer Jeglić, who devoted much attention to the landscaping of this area. All three grave classes are present in this section too. Their dimensions are equal to the dimensions of the graves within the arcades, but their appearance is more contemporary and they are mostly straight-shaped.
The Cemetery thus grew almost to its final size. Further expansion was stopped until recently, when the Cemetery made new burial plots available to the soldiers and civilian victims of the Croatian War of Independence.
THE TIME OF THE GREAT RECONSTRUCTION
In times of war, cemeteries are only visited when absolutely necessary. In times of war, not much thought is given to cemeteries unless absolutely necessary, and this is especially true in post-war periods. There are too many graves anyway wherever people look and in their very hearts. Mirogoj did not escape such fate. Until 1962, Mirogoj was practically abandoned to its own devices. Rain leaks destroyed the inside of the arcade walls almost entirely. There was no income to finance any kind of investments or repairs with. However, work on a reconstruction and maintenance plan for the Cemetery started that year, and general repair work on the arcades was completed the next year. The roofs were fully reconstructed. The reconstruction of the walls started in 1967. 77 large and 69 small arcades, 12 domes on large arcades and 5 domes on small arcades, and the connections between the Chapel and the big arcades were reconstructed in the next four years. Parks, pathways, roads, waterworks and sewers were reconstructed. Entire fields were remodelled and tombs built where classic burial was not possible. The number of abandoned grave markers gradually declined. In 1973, there were 44,362 graves in Mirogoj, and most had stone markers in good shape. There were also 2,820 tombs.
The year 1967 holds a special significance for the Mirogoj Cemetery in all respects, since that was the year when Zagreb’s largest cemetery got a residential team of professional musicians. The flower and candle vendor stands were renewed, and the nursery was greatly expanded and new amenities were added. A construction group for the construction of lower tomb segments was also introduced then.
The construction and stonemasonry workgroup, established in 1972, was equipped with special machinery for the production of grave markers from different materials. The Common Grave for the remains exhumed from the graves in Mirogoj was constructed and appropriately decorated in 1973.