In 1812 the first open air cemetery outside Alcoi was opened. It is also known as the Cantagallet Cemetery or Old Cemetery.
In 1885 it was considered to be too close to the city. This fact together with the ravaging epidemics of cholera made it convenient to set up the present premises of Cantagallet or Sant Antoni Abat City Cemetery, as a temporary solution.
Later, the decision to acquire a larger plot and to develop a project for a permanent cemetery on that spot was made. The winning project was that by the local engineer Enrique Vilaplana Julià, which was dated August 29, 1889.
The cemetery would turn into an actual space of social representation, a genuine reflection of the industrial society in Alcoi, by developing different typologies and enclosures as time went by.
The area with greatest wealth and artistic variety in the cemetery is that of the free-standing family or individual vaults, authentic architecture in miniature where the diverse artists had considerable creative freedom, and where an evolution was evident in the artistic styles from the most widespread Eclecticism to historicism or revivals, or Modernism of Nouveau and Sezession styles and, finally, to examples of Art Déco and Rationalism.
These heritage values made it be included in the European Cemeteries Route, which is considered a Cultural Route by the Council of Europe, since 2012.Important people or points of interest
Sant Antoni Abat or Cantagallet Cemetery has not many important personalities out of the localwide, but its interest is mainly based in the different typologies generated along the time and its social stratification.
Important events taking place at the cemetery
- Common graves: from 1889. They are those which had, at the beginning, the greatest constructive presence in the necropolis, being decorated with small wooden or iron crosses.
- Niches: from 1893. They are vertical constructions. Some of them house authentic works of art in the reliefs of the tombstones.
- Grave-niches: from 1893. They are bourgeois constructions, aesthetically similar to the free-standing vaults, but constructed against the wall.
- Graves of elegant zone: from 1894. They occupy the central part of the common graves’ area, with a variety of styles.
- Free-standing Vaults: from 1894. They present a wide catalogue of architectural and sculptural styles.
- Underground Galleries of San Severo, San Fabián and San Antonio: from 1895. Ventilated and illuminated. They were constructed taking advantage of the different levels of the area and economizing on space.
- Priests’ Enclosure, with public chapel: 1905. Project by Timoteo Briet.
- Hypogea: from 1909. Attached vaults designed by Timoteo Briet, inspired by the ones of Barcelona’s Montjuïc Cemetery.
- Civil Cemetery: from 1909. It is highlighted its similarity to an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, with many vegetation and non-Catholic symbolism.
- Military plot: from 1910. Created because of the Infantry Regiment Quarter that existed in Alcoy at that time.
- Nuns’ Enclosure: from 1925. For all the congregations of Alcoy.
- The Monumental Cross: 1939. Projected by José Cortés. It was located, at the end of the Spanish Civil War, in the place initially meant for the cemetery chapel. At present it has lost any political connotation.
- Columbaria: from 1969. A standard, functional building to save space. It corresponds to the need to place funeral urns of cremations or human rests.
- Cenotaph: 1990. Built as ossuary and memorial. Inspired by the Woodland Chapel of Stockholm.
- Ash pit: 2010. New type to hold the ashes from cremations.
Some guided cultural visits have been organized in the cemetery by Tourist Info Alcoy as well as by private companies, always with a high number of participants.
Moreover an informative leaflet with a map and interesting places or points was edited in 2011 from the City Council of Alcoy, aiming to enable people to do the route by themselves.
There is also a doctoral thesis that was presented in 2013.Contact
Tourist Info Alcoy
Plaça d’Espanya, 14
03801 Alcoy (Alicante)