The oldest cemetery in Zakopane, founded around 1850 near the first church, thanks to the priest Józef Stolarczyk. Originally, people of Zakopane were buried in the Chochołów and Poronin cemeteries. At the start of the 19th century, after the Gąsieniców Chapel was built, the deceased were occasionally buried nearby, including, in accordance with his will, the founder of the Chapel, Paweł Gąsienica.
The Old Cemetery – as generally believed - was built on a steep edge of a stream (on the "brzyzku"), offered for this purpose by Jan Pęksa, hence the popular name - "Pęksowy Brzyzek". In 1889, Dr Tytus Chałubiński was buried here, bringing a start to a new period in the history of the cemetery, which at that point ceased to be an ordinary village cemetery, becoming one of the most important Polish cemeteries. Local highlanders, mountaineers, people of culture, and people who died of tuberculosis near Giewont were buried here. In 1931, the governor of Kraków recognized the Old Cemetery as a cultural monument and since then the restorer must personally agree to each and every new the burial. Most of the newly buried here are people of merit for Zakopane and Poland, and the Old Cemetery is often called the Old Cemetery of the Honored.
During the occupation, the area of the cemetery was reduced by more than a quarter, passing through the Eastern part of the area, next to to the stream, to the lower station of the cable car to Gubałówka. The graves from this area were exhumed and relocated to other parts of the cemetery.
Currently, there are approx. 320 graves at the Old Cemetery including the graves of Józef Stolarczyk, the Pawlikowski family, Tytus Chałubiński, Jan Krzeptowski Sabała, Stanisław Witkiewicz, Władysław Orkan, Kazimierz Tetmajer, Włodzimierz Wnuk, Antoni Kenar, Józef Kapeniak, Antoni Rząsa, Karol Stryjeński, Kazimierz Dłuski, Maciej Sieczka Tadeusz Bocheński, Józef Fedorowicz, Jan Długosz, Tomasz Gluziński, Jan Pasierb-Orlando, Adam Pach, Kornel Makuszyński, Marian Raciborski, Karol Kłosowski, Stanisław Nędza-Kubińc, Helena Marusarzówna, Stefan, Tadeusz and Zofia Zwoliński, as well as the symbolic mogul in. Mariusz Zaruski, Bronisław Czech, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz.
Today the Old Cemetery is taken care of by the St. Mary’s Parish and the City Hall in Zakopane. Monuments conservation is carried out by the Society for the Protection of Monuments, in cooperation with the Tatra Museum and the Technical School of Regional Construction in Zakopane.