Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 4: Central Cemetery, Vienna

Editor's note: we are pleased to announce that this is FrauDoktorDoctor's 100th post! 


After Eisenstadt we were driven up to Vienna. Our first stop in the capital of Austria was at the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in the southern part of the city, where numerous musical luminaries are buried all together under tall marble slabs carved with various images and symbols. That's a close-up of Johannes Brahm's gravestone at left; someone left him roses while he thinks deeply about his next composition. Below are photographs of Ludwig von Beethoven's obelisk (left) and Franz Schubert's bas relief (right). Johann Strauss (father and son) are also buried in the area. Nobody knows the location of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's grave, of course--only it's not because he was too poor to afford a grave plot and a proper funeral. Rather, it's because Emperor Josef was into Enlightened Absolutism and wanted to reform burial customs from irrational individual graves to space-saving mass graves. Funny, but it didn't catch on. However, there is a statue in the center of this area to that classical composer.

I also took photos of some of pretty or striking monuments in the area. So that this post doesn't take too long to load, I'll just include three others. Below left, a nymph waits under a tree that has been incorporated into the gravestone. Below right, a fairy from 1890.

The strangest monument was undoubtedly this one (left). I can only guess that the deceased was a sculptor who designed it before s/he died. The vertical part consists of a naked, headless woman wearing high heels embracing a skeleton (also headless). The horizontal part is a tortured, twisted body missing head and feet.

We could have wandered about and looked at more gravestones, but the onset of rain made sure we ended our pilgrimage on time! We hurried back to the bus and continued to our hotel, across the street from the Hapsburgs' summer home, Schönbrunn Palace. More from Vienna next post.


  1. I just came across this news article, about some guy who dug up the graves of Strauss and Brahms in 2002 to steal their teeth!

  2. Grave robbers: the reason Pres. Lincoln is encased in cement.


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