Above/featured: The cemetery’s Gate 2 (2. Tor) designed by Max Hegele, who was Otto Wagner’s student and also responsible for the construction of the Fillgraderstiege steps in Mariahilf.
Where: Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof).
Who: Beethoven, Boltzmann, Falco, Lamarr, Schütte-Lihotzky, Strauss I and II.
Why: Cross-section of cultural and economic history for capital city and nation.
In Vienna, tram 71 begins in the Old Town; goes around the western half of the inner ring past City Hall, national Parliament, and the Opera House; and heads southeast to the city’s main cemetery or the Zentralfriedhof. Because coffins to the cemetery were once transported on the tram, there’s a saying particular to the city’s residents, a phrase which means they’ve died by “going to the end of the line.”
Sie haben den 71er genommen.”
(“They took the 71.”)
As Europe’s 2nd largest cemetery, the Zentralfriedhof covers a surface area of 2.5 square kilometres (1 square mile)%. There are over 300-thousand graves, among them 1000 are in the “honorary” or Ehrengräber category. Over 3 million people are buried in the cemetery, which was established in 1863 and the first burial taking place in 1874. At present, 20 to 25 funerals take place every day in the cemetery.
The physical layout; the graves of multiple backgrounds, creeds, and occupations; and countless sculptures symbolize connections between life and death, and between the living and the dead. The size of the park invites the residence of many animals, including deer, hares, foxes, hamsters, hedgehogs, and squirrels. There are also beehives on the grounds, thanks to the abundance and variety of trees and flowers; you can even buy “Friedhofshonig” honey at the cemetery gift shop. The large green space also serves joggers, bicycle rides, and long walks on many a path. In truth, the working central cemetery is also an urban recreation area.
I had at the outset wanted to find the graves of a couple of physicists whose work formed an important part of my scientific education. Then, I discovered the names of musicians buried here. Then, I learned the names of important figures in the city’s history. And then, I realized a visit to the central cemetery would be a measured sweeping wave through the artistic, cultural, and industrial history of Austria.
Was dieser kleine Raum umschlossen hält, war für mich die ganze Welt.
(What this little space keeps enclosed is my entire world.)
Graves are located in the primary section of the cemetery through gates 2 and 3 (2. Tor, 3. Tor). The ✡ symbol indicates graves in the Old Jewish Cemetery through gate 1 (Alte Jüdischer Friedhof, 1. Tor).
- Friedrich AMERLING
- Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
- Ludwig BOLTZMANN
- Johannes BRAHMS
- Theophilos HANSEN
- Johann (Hans) HÖLZEL, a.k.a. Falco
- Josef HOFFMANN
- Adolf JELLINEK ✡
- Mercédès JELLINEK
- Udo JÜRGENS
- Ludwig KÖCHEL
- Josef KORNHÄUSEL
- Hedy LAMARR
- Franz LITTROW
- Adolf LOOS
- Hans MAKART
- Oskar MARMOREK ✡
- Siegfried MARKUS
- Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
- Familie MUNK (Josef Stefan)
- Alois NEGRELLI
- Johann NESTROY
- Eduard VAN DER NÜLL
- Julius von PAYER
- ROTHSCHILDS (Vienna branch) ✡
- Anton SALIERI
- Arthur SCHNITZLER ✡
- Franz SCHUBERT
- Margarete SCHÜTTE-LIHOTZKY
- Minona von STACKELBERG
- Johann STRAUSS I (Vater)
- Johann STRAUSS II (Sohn)
- Eduard “Edi” STRAUSS
- Josef “Pepi” STRAUSS
- WIENER VON WELTEN ✡
- Friedrich “Fritz” WOTRUBA
- Josef “Joe” ZAWINUL
- Moritz & Ida ZWEIG ✡
- Den Opfern für ein freies Österreich 1934-1935
- Soviet Red Army WW2 soldiers
Friedrich (Ritter von) Amerling
• b/* 14 Apr 1803, d/+ 14 Jan 1887.
• Austrian portraits painter.
• Friedrich (Ritter von) Amerling: group 14A, number 30.
Ludwig van Beethoven
• b/* 16 Dec 1770, d/+ 26 Mar 1827.
• Composer of over 700 works.
• From his 9th symphony: “Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy)“, adapted from Friedrich Schiller’s poem.
• Originally buried in Währinger cemetery, his remains were exhumed and moved here to the much larger Zentralfriedhof in 1888 when this memorial was also unveiled.
• Ludwig van Beethoven: group 32A, number 29.
• b/* 20 Feb 1844, d/+ 5 Sep 1906.
• Physicist, student of Josef Stefan. Became professor of mathematics and physics at Vienna University.
• Contributions include Boltzmann constant, Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, Boltzmann entropy equation.
• Ludwig Boltzmann: group 14C, number 1.
• b/* 7 May 1833, d/+ 3 Apr 1897.
• Composer, “Ungarischer Tanz Nr. 5″ (Hungarian Dance no. 5)“, WoO 1 (1879).
• Johannes Brahms: group 32A, number 26.
• b/* 13 July 1813, d/+ 17 February 1891.
• Danish architect, naturalized Austrian; “Ringstrasse architect”
• Theophil Hansen: group 14A, number 20
Johanns (Hans) Hölzel, aka Falco
• b/* 19 Feb 1957, d/+ 6 Feb 1998.
• Musician, 1980s radio hit and ode to Mozart: “Rock Me Amadeus“.
• “Scandal Calling: The Story of Falco, Austria’s Biggest Popstar” – by Jacob Wingate-Bishop.
• His mother, Maria, died in 2014 and is buried next to her son; these two graves are the most visited in the entire cemetery. Burial location: group 40, number 64.
• b/* 15 Dec 1870, d/+ 7 May 1956.
• Architect, designer, co-founder of both Secession and Wiener Werkstätte.
• JH & 2nd wife Karoline (Karla) Hoffmann (née Schmatz), 1894-1980: group 14C, number 20.
• b/* 29 Oct 1820, d/+ 20 Dec 1893.
• Jewish scholar and rabbi; 1856, joins Vienna’s Leopoldstädter Tempel as preacher.
• Granddaughter Mercedes, after whom his 3rd son and businessman Emil Jellinek named a set of Daimler racing cars; see below.
• Rabbi Adolf Jellinek, in Zentralfriedhof’s Old Jewish Cemetery: group 5B, row 1, number 2.
Mercédès Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek
• b/* 16 Sep 1889, d/+ 23 Feb 1929.
• Mercédès Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek was born to Rachel and Emil Jellinek. An automobile merchant and promoter of Daimler vehicles in Austria, Emil Jellinek named a set of newly manufactured racing cars, “Mercedes”, after his daughter around 1899-1900. The Mercedes name and brand live on today. Mercédès’ grandfather was Adolf Jellinek, Jewish scholar and rabbi in Vienna; see above.
• Familie Jellinek: group 59C, number 26.
• b/* 30 Sep 1934, d/+ 21 Dec 2014.
• Austrian musician, singer, songwriter; known as Europe’s Frank Sinatra.
• Udo Jürgens: group 33G, number 85.
• b/* 14 Jan 1800; d/+ 3 Jun 1877.
• Catalogued and organized Mozart’s works into the “Köchel-Verzeichnis” (KV; Köchel-catalogue or -index), first published in 1862. For example, Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor is listed as KV 626 or K.626.
• Ludwig (Ritter von) Köchel: group 16A, row 7, number 23.
• b/* Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, in Vienna on 9 Nov 1914; d/+ 19 Jan 2000.
• Inventor and actress. The world has her to thank for co-inventing the technique of “frequency hopping” (spread spectrum) which is crucial to the ubiquity of bluetooth, mobile, and WiFi technology.
• Hedy Lamarr: group 33G, number 80.
Franz (Ritter von) Littrow
• b/* 1821, d/+ 1886.
• Lieutenant Field Marshall Franz Littrow was son of astronomer Josef Johann Littrow and brother of astronomer Karl Littrow. Karl’s son, Otto, designed the Littrow prism.
• From 1833, the Littrows once had a family crypt in the cemetery (group 11, row 1, number 49). Research within the cemetery website revealed that in 1974, the Littrow family crypt was dug up, the grave location cleared and newly reallocated. A PDF document from 2019 stated a possible relocation to group 68: “Gruppe 68A, Reihe 3, Nummer 5.”, but as of writing, there is no Littrow family buried at that grave location.
• Franz (Ritter von) Littrow: group 13A, row 2, number 1.
• b/* 10 Dec 1870, d/+ 23 Aug 1933.
• Architect, part of early 20th-century Vienna Modernism (Wiener Moderne) movement.
• Adolf Loos: group 0, row 1, number 105; southwest corner next to the solar panels.
• b/* 28 May 1840, d/+ 3 October 1884.
• Austrian painter and artist.
• Hans Markart: group 14A, number 32.
• b/* 9 Apr 1863, d/+ 6 Apr 1909.
• Architect; designed the building which houses Café Rüdigerhof.
• Shot himself over his father’s grave; buried with his father.
• Oskar & father Isidor: group 20, row 17b, number 5 (Old Jewish Cemetery).
• b/* 18 Sep 1831, d/+ 1 Jul 1898.
• Inventor, one of the earliest automobiles. Because of his Jewish heritage, the Nazis tried to erase his name from history.
• Siegfried Markus: group 0, row 1, number 101.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
• b/* 27 Jan 1756, d/+ 5 May 1791.
• Composer; “Eine kleine Nachtmusik“, K.525, I. Allegro (1787).
• At the time of Mozart’s death and burial in the city’s St. Marx cemetery, he was buried in an unmarked grave for an individual citizen which was the common custom at the time. The exact location of his grave remains unknown today; an additional memorial to Mozart stands near the centre of St. Marx cemetery.
• Mozart memorial: group 32A, number 55.
Familie Munk (Josef Stefan)
• Josef Stefan (Jožef Štefan, in Slovenian): b/* 24 Mar 1835, d/+ 7 Jan 1893.
• Physicist; professor of mathematics and physics, Vienna University.
• Heat transfer; solid-liquid phase transitions; development of Stefan-Boltzmann Law with student Ludwig Boltzmann.
• He had neither siblings nor children. His wife Maria (1839-1929) buried here; his step-granddaughter Aloisia Rohm (1897-1969) also buried here. According to administration records, burial-duration rights are in Stefan-Munk family name. Stefan family name has disappeared, and only names of Rudolf (1907-1982) and Rudolfine (1916-1995) Munk appear on headstone.
• Josef Stefan, eine biografische Spurensuche zum 120. Todestag, Karl Westritschnig (2012).
• Familie Munk (Rudolf 1907-1982, Rudolfine 1916-1995): group 46D, row 1, number 30.
• b/* 18 Aug 1750, d/+ 7 May 1825.
• Composer, late 18th-century opera, royal court music director.
• Exploding the Salieri myth, by Erica Jeal, for The Guardian, 2003.
• Antonio Salieri: group 0, row 1, number 54.
• b/* 31 Jan 1797, d/+ 19 Nov 1828.
• Composer: “Der Erlkönig“, Op.1, D.328 (1815) adapted from Goethe’s text; “Ellens Dritter Gesang“, Op.52, No.6, D.839 (1825).
• Originally buried in Währinger cemetery, his remains were exhumed and moved here to the much larger Zentralfriedhof in 1888.
• Franz Schubert: group 32A, number 28.
• b/* 23 Jan 1897, d/+ 18 Jan 2000.
• Architect, mother of the modern fitted kitchen, activist.
• Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky: group 33G, number 28.
Minona von Stackelberg
• b/* 8 Apr 1813, d/+ 27 Feb 1897.
• Was Minona the daughter of Ludwig van Beethoven? Perhaps; we’ll probably never know.
• Bánffy grave: group 48A, row G1, number 2.
Johann Strauss I (Vater)
• b/* 14 Mar 1804, d/+ 25 Sep 1849.
• Composer, imperial court royal ball music director. His sons Johann II, Eduard, and Josef formed an informal contemporary dynasty of “Wiener Walzer” (Vienna Waltzes).
• His wife Anna Strauss (née Streim) buried next to son Josef; see below.
• Johann Strauss I (father/senior): group 32A, number 15.
Johann Strauss II (Sohn)
• b/* 25 Oct 1825, d/+ 3 Jun 1899.
• Composer, royal music director.
• Best known for “An der schönen blauen Donau (On the blue Danube)“, Walzer op.314, 1866: the unofficial anthem of Vienna.
• Johann Strauss II (son/junior): group 32A, number 27.
Eduard “Edi” Strauss
• b/* 15 Mar 1835, d/+ 28 Dec 1916.
• Johann II’s brother, composer, royal court music director.
• Eduard Strauss: group 32A, number 42.
Josef “Pepi” Strauss
• b/* 22 Aug 1827, d/+ 22 Jul 1870.
• Composer, Johann II’s younger brother. Johann II once said of Josef: “Pepi (Josef) is the more gifted of us; I’m merely more popular.”
• Josef Strauss and his mother Anna Strauss (née Streim) were first buried at Vienna’s St. Marx cemetery. In 1909, all remains were exhumed and reburied at the city’s central cemetery.
• Josef Strauss: group 32A, number 44.
Friedrich “Fritz” Wotruba
• b/* 23 Apr 1907, d/+ 28 Aug 1975.
• Sculptor, known for designing the Wotruba Church in the 23rd district (southwest Vienna).
• group 32C, number 32.
Josef “Joe” Zawinul
• b/* 7 Jul 1932, d/+ 11 Sep 2007.
• Best-known jazz musician from Austria; keyboardist, composer, co-founded 1970s American jazz-rock fusion group Weather Report.
• Joe & Maxine Zawinul: group 33G, number 39.
Soviet Red Army WW2 soldiers
• Inaugurated in 1946, over 2400 Soviet Red Army soldiers are laid to rest in an area behind the Borromäus church.
• Sowjetische Kriegstote, 2. Weltkrieg: group 44A.
% The world’s largest cemetery park is in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf with an area encompassing 4 square kilometres (1.5 square miles).
• “Erbe Österreich: Wiener Zentralfriedhof” – ORF documentary, 21 Nov 2017 (YouTube).
• Dark Tourism, by Peter Hohenhaus.
I made all pictures above with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime on 20 May 2018 and 28 May 2022. Alle Fotoaufnahmen sind von Wasserzeichen versehen worden. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bWJ.