The cemetery is located near Talkša lake and covers the area of 4,46 hectares. The cemetery consists of three parts: Catholic, Orthodox and Free Thinkers’ cemetery. It is believed that mass burying in the cemetery started in 1831, when cholera raved in the city. One of the oldest groups of graves is family vaults. Quite many of them remained on the slopes of the hill in the old cemetery, around the former chapel. Because there are almost no surviving inscriptions on facades of vaults, we can only guess that first vaults could have been equipped at the junction of 18 and 19 centuries, while the majority of them was equipped in the second half of the 19 century.
In summer of 1944, when the Soviet aviation was bombarding the city, many bombs fell on the cemetery too, particularly on its oldest part. Many of the former mausoleums and the graves located on the slopes were destroyed or devastated. Officially no people have been buried in the old cemetery of Šiauliai since 1959.
Many prominent figures are buried in the old cemetery: teachers, priests, engineers, lawyers, artists, doctors, soldiers. The old cemetery sheltered Juozas Miliauskas-Miglovaras, the poet, who wrote in the newspaper “Aušra”. Philosopher, professor, teacher, last rector Vytautas Magnus University of Independent Lithuania Stasys Šalkauskis, the lawyer and public figure, social democrat Kazimieras Venclauskis, count Zubovai children’s childminder and teacher Adomas Tuchto, the priest and the apostle of temperance Ignacas Štachas rest here.