Vienna Central Cemetery / Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Pictured Story)

The Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery) is the one of the largest cemeteries in Europe. With over 300,000 graves and three million corpses, there are more dead people in these place than inhabitants in the Austrian capital. However, there are several reasons why a visit there is absolutely recommended when being there. I take you to it in my Pictured Story.


Wiener Zentralfriedhof – Admission & Transport

The Vienna Central Cemetery is located at the Southwest of the Austrian capital. Its sheer size can be illustrated by the fact that tram line 11 and 71 is featuring four stops along the area. The main entrance is the so-called 2. Tor (“2nd Gate”), likely. The S-Bahn commuter rail (line S7) is stopping at the West corner of the cemetery. There are also other bus stops around the cemetery. In addition, bus line ZF is an every thirty minute (peak time) round-trip through the service. You may also drive into it. There is an admission fee depending on the time you spend there.

Admission to the museum is free. The opening times differ by season. In winter (November to February), times are 8:00 to 17:00, while April to September times are 7:00 to 19:00. The remaining months, times are 7:00 to 18:00. From May to August, Thursday opening is prolonged until 20:00.

Vienna Central Cemetery is organized in Gruppen (“Groups”) and Reihen (“Rows”). I recommend to download or buy a map before you enter the grounds. On the grounds there is also the Bestattungsmuseum, the Funeral Museum. Unfortunately, it is only opening Thursdays, 10:00 to 16:00.


Views of Wiener Zentralfriedhof

I did not really do a structured walk through the cemetery. This also means that I skipped some of the rather remote places. A remarkable fact about the Wiener Zentralfriedhof is that it is interdenominational. There are not only different kind of Christian graves, but also Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and other sections. Thus, even a random stroll through this place tells you a lot about different ways people are honoring their dead. In one of the first pictures below, you obviously pass a grave of a person, who felt having been a taxi driver. Similar examples can be found all over the ground. Of course, the very old and traditional family graves are a somehow special thing. Very often, you just have a little stop just because they are so eye-catching and richly decorated.

The Ehrengräber

A very special thing at Vienna Central Cemetery are the so called Ehrengräber, the “honorary graves”. Finally, the major of Vienna assigns these right to people, who have been important for the history of the city. From actors to composers, from politicians to sportsmen or business people, this can be based on very different kinds of achievements. These graves, which are located in specific sections are cared about by the city. The sections a highlighted in the cemetery map.

Especially the Ehrengräber close to the Cemetery Church are very interesting. Music fans run into the remains of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, the Strauss family, but also rather modern artists like Udo Jürgens. The latter one, being shaped like a piano, is one of the most visited gravesites of the whole place. However, you will also find a lot of other people around here. If there are specific people’s tombs you just don’t want to miss, it is absolutely helpful to prepare that before your visit – there are lists available in the internet.


Presidents and more

Another section, which is very popular among visitors, is the Präsidentengruft, where the former Austrian Presidents of State are buried. However, there are multiple other memorial grounds, including those reminding of victims of the Nazi era, but also certain priests and soldiers.

Group 40 features people, who have defined the Vienna cultural scene during their lifetime. There are a couple of really popular people. Thus, it feels a bit of “unfair” to them that many visitors focus on the burial ground of Hans Hölzl, who you like much better know as Falco. His grave in the corner of this area, is very eye-catching. His mother, who died after him, is buried next to him, by the way.

I went on and passed along a couple of other sections of the cemetery during my visit. The most touching is likely the section of children, who either died young or were born dead.However, also in these areas, you find very picturesque and interesting gravesites. There are also special sections like a forest cemetery and more modern ways of burying people.



Cemetry Church

The full name of the dome-alike church in the center of the grounds is Friedhofskirche zum Heiligen Karl Borromäus. However, locals typically name it Luegerkirche. This is not referencing to a liar or something, but the name of the major, who kicked off the construction in 1908. He die months before the church has been completed and nowadays buried in its crypt. Even though the church is already quite prominent from outside, it is definitely worth having a look inside as well. In contrast to the cemetery, the Luegerkirche is a catholic one.


Wiener Zentralfriedhof – Services

Right at the main gate, there is a visitor center with souvenir store. They also sell maps and detailed guides with lists of the Ehrengräber. There are also some cafes around, as well as toilets and vending machines. You may also have horse carriage rides around the area. Wiener Zentralfriedhof also has some special exhibition areas, like an Urban Gardering section.



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