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.)
- Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
- Ludwig BOLTZMANN
- Johannes BRAHMS
- Johann (Hans) HÖLZEL, aka Falco
- Josef HOFFMANN
- Mercedes JELLINEK
- Udo JÜRGENS
- Hedy LAMARR
- Adolf LOOS
- Siegfried MARKUS
- Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
- Familie MUNK (Josef Stefan)
- Anton SALIERI
- Franz SCHUBERT
- Margarete SCHÜTTE-LIHOTZKY
- Johann STRAUSS I (Vater)
- Johann STRAUSS II (Sohn)
- Eduard “Edi” STRAUSS
- Josef “Pepi” STRAUSS
- Friedrich “Fritz” WOTRUBA
- Josef “Joe” ZAWINUL
- Soviet Red Army WW2 soldiers
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.
• 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.
• b/* 7 May 1833, d/+ 3 Apr 1897.
• Composer, “Ungarischer Tanz Nr. 5“, WoO 1 (1879).
Johanns (Hans) Hölzel, aka Falco
• b/* 19 Feb 1957, d/+ 6 Feb 1998.
• Musician, 1980s radio hit and ode to Mozart: “Rock Me Amadeus“.
• His mother, Maria, died in 2014 and is buried next to her son; these two graves are the most visited in the entire cemetery.
• “Scandal Calling: The Story of Falco, Austria’s Biggest Popstar” – by Jacob Wingate-Bishop.
• b/* 15 Dec 1870, d/+ 7 May 1956.
• Architect, designer, co-founder of both Secession and Wiener Werkstätte.
• b/* 16 Sep 1889, d/+ 23 Feb 1929.
• Adrienne Manuela Ramona Jellinek, whose nickname was “Mercedes”, was born to Rachel and Emil Jellinek. An automobile merchant and promoter of Daimler vehicles in Austria, Emil Jellinek named a set of new racing cars after his daughter around 1899-1900. The Mercedes name and brand live on today. Her grandfather was Adolf Jellinek, former chief rabbi of Vienna, who is buried in Zentralfriedhof’s Old Jewish Cemetery (Gruppe 5B, Reihe 1, Nummer 2).
• b/* 30 Sep 1934, d/+ 21 Dec 2014.
• Austrian musician, singer, songwriter; known as Europe’s Frank Sinatra.
• b/* Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, in Vienna on 9 Nov 1914; d/+ 19 Jan 2000.
• Inventor and actress.
• We have her to thank for inventing the technique of “frequency hopping” (spread spectrum) which is crucial to the ubiquity of bluetooth, mobile, and WiFi technology.
• b/* 10 Dec 1870, d/+ 23 Aug 1933.
• Architect, part of early 20th-century Vienna Modernism (Wiener Moderne) movement.
• 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.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
• b/* 27 Jan 1756, d/+ 5 May 1791.
• Composer; “Eine kleine Nachtmusik“, K.525, I. Allegro (1787).
• This is a memorial to Mozart, and not his grave.
• 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.
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).
• 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.
• 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).
• b/* 23 Jan 1897, d/+ 18 Jan 2000.
• Architect, mother of the modern fitted kitchen, activist.
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 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.
Eduard “Edi” Strauss
• b/* 15 Mar 1835, d/+ 28 Dec 1916.
• Johann II’s brother, composer, royal court music director.
Josef “Pepi” Strauss
• b/* 22 Aug 1827, d/+ 22 Jul 1870.
• First buried at Vienna St. Marx cemetery, his remains were later exhumed and reburied here at the city’s central cemetery (next to mum Anna Strauss).
• Johann II’s younger brother, and also composer. Johann II once said of Josef: “Pepi (Josef) is the more gifted of us; I’m merely more popular.”
Friedrich “Fritz” Wotruba
• b/* 23 Apr 1907, d/+ 28 Aug 1975.
• Architect, known for the Wotruba Church in southern Vienna.
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.
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.
% 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 on 20 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime; alle Fotoaufnahmen sind von Wasserzeichen versehen worden. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bWJ.