The Catholic Cemetery in Doulab - Polish Cemetery

 The Catholic Cemetery in Doulab - Polish Cemetery
The Doulab Catholic Cemetery is more than 150 years old. Its coming into being is closely linked with the interest the Qajar rulers took in European science and culture at that time. In 1942 an important chapter was added to the cemetery’s history, when several ten thousands of Poles were released from Soviet captivity and arrived in Iran. Find out more about these stories in the current section.


The origins of the Doulab Catholic Cemetery go back to the middle of the 19th century. In 1855, the young Dr. Louis André Ernest Cloquet, personal physician to Nassereddin Shah died and was buried in a field situated in the Tehran district of Doulab, close to the Armenian cemetery. This patch of land was to become the burial site for all Catholics of Tehran, foreigners and locals. Dr. Cloquet’s tomb, bearing a small brick cupola, can be seen up till the present day.

From the time of their arrival in Tehran in 1862, the Lazarists, being the only Catholic priests in town, took charge of the cemetery. In those days there were 87 Catholics living in Tehran, all of whom were foreigners or Chaldeans. In 1886, Joseph Désiré Tholozan, an Armenian officer of the Légion d’honneur and physician for the French mission purchased the terrain for the cemetery. From that time on, the cemetery was at the service of the Catholic community of Tehran, which became ever more numerous and international.

The arrival of the Poles

In 1942 an estimated 120,000 Polish soldiers and civilians arrived on the Iranian shore in Bandar Anzali. They had been released from Soviet captivity and were to set up the Polish Army of the East under famous General Anders. Many were so destitute and starved that they didn’t survive the hardships of the journey and died upon their arrival in Iran or shortly thereafter.

That’s why the Polish Embassy purchased half of the terrain of the cemetery and arranged the graves of their many fellow countrymen, that had died here in Tehran, in a convenient and worthy way.

National communities represented in the Catholic Cemetery

Germany, United States, England, Argentina, Armenia, Assyrians, Chaldeans (Iran), Austria, Belgium, Spain, Estonia, France, Greece, Netherlands, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, New, Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Czechoslovakia, Turkey

Location of Doulab Catholic Cemetery

On the east side of Tehran, in Soleimanieh (Doulab) district which leads to Shahid Mahallati (Ahang) highway from the south and Piroozi (former Jaleh) Street from the north
Please visit the Doulab Catholic Cemetery website for more information.
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