Silent Metamorphosis

architect Mario Perossa
project Cemetry Chapel, Oskuruš, Croatia
written by Vera Grimmer


Q: We live in an age of rationalism; why do we need symbols any longer?
A: Tradition teaches us that we still need them, even though they are not the same. They are the proof that we have overcome materialism.
Josef Frank: “Vom neuen Stil”



In the far northwest corner of Istria, funeral processions can be seen and heard from a great distance. A funeral procession follows a brass band along the ridge of a hill until it reaches a graveyard, marked by cypresses that might belong to the village of Merišče, as well as of Momjan or Oskuruš. These elevated, Boecklinite “islands of the dead” stand out surrounded by a cultural landscape, opening a view to horizons far and away. On special days, when the bora sharpens the contours and brings distant landscapes closer, the Oskuruš cemetery affords a view across the sea to the other shore and as far as the snowcaps of the Julian Alps and hilltops of Veneto.