My Vienna: Zentralfriedhof (central cemetery)
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.”)
Amalgamating burial functions once dispersed among many cemeteries throughout the city, the central cemetery was established in 1863 with the first burial taking place in 1874. Today 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. As necropolis, over 3 million people are buried in the cemetery; that number exceeds the current living population at 1.9 million (2022). At present, 20 to 25 funerals take place every day in the cemetery.
Connections between life and death and between the living and the dead are symbolized by the physical layout; the graves of multiple backgrounds, creeds, and occupations; and countless sculptures. The size of the park invites 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 sections 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) and the New Jewish Cemetery administered by the city’s Jewish Cultural Community (IKG Wien) and accessed through gate 4 (Neue Jüdischer Friedhof, 4. Tor).
- Friedrich AMERLING
- Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
- Marietta BLAU ✡
- Ludwig BOLTZMANN
- Johannes BRAHMS
- Theophilos HANSEN
- Johann 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
- Siegfried MARCUS
- Oskar MARMOREK ✡
- Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
- Familie MUNK, Josef Stefan
- Alois NEGRELLI
- Johann NESTROY
- Eduard van der NÜLL
- Julius von PAYER
- Familie ROTHSCHILD, Austria 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 & Anna (mum)
- Familie WIENER VON WELTEN ✡
- Friedrich “Fritz” WOTRUBA
- Josef “Joe” ZAWINUL
- Moritz & Ida ZWEIG ✡
- To the victims for a free Austria 1934–1945
- Soviet Red Army WW2 soldiers
Friedrich (Ritter von) Amerling
• b/✵ 14 Apr 1803, d/✟ 14 Jan 1887.
• Austrian portraiture 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 Ortsfriedhof 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/✵ 29 Apr 1894, d/✟ 27 Jan 1970.
• Physicist; pioneered methods for imaging and tracking high-energy cosmic rays.
• New Jewish Cemetery: Marietta Blau buried with her father Markus (d/+ 18.12.1919); group 6, row 2, number 16.
• b/✵ 20 Feb 1844, d/✟ 5 Sep 1906.
• Physicist, student of Josef Stefan. Became professor of mathematics and physics at Vienna University.
• Contributions include Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, 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.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: Rabbi Adolf Jellinek; 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/✵ 13 Nov 1782; d/✟ 31 Oct 1860.
• Architect, Biedermaier period: many buildings in Vienna and Baden bei Wien.
• Originally buried in St. Marx cemetery; remains exhumed, moved, and reburied at Zentralfriedhof in 1934.
• Josef Kornhäusel (Kornhäusl): group 14A, number 45A.
• b/✵ Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, 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.
• b/✵ 28 May 1840, d/✟ 3 October 1884.
• Austrian painter and artist.
• Hans Markart: group 14A, number 32.
• 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.
• Buried as “Siegfried Markus”: group 0, row 1, number 101.
• 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.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: Oskar & father Isidor; group 20, row 17b, number 5.
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 (non-aristocrat) for the burial custom at the time. The 1859 memorial marker by Hanns Gasser over Mozart’s presumed grave at St. Marx cemetery was moved to its present location in the central cemetery in 1891 on the 100th anniversary of Mozart’s death.
• Mozart memorial: group 32A, number 55.
Familie Munk (Josef Stefan)
• Josef Stefan (Jožef Štefan: 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 Karoline (1839–1929) and step-granddaughter Aloisia Rohm (1897–1969) are also buried here. According to administration records, burial-duration rights are in the Stefan-Munk family name. Stefan family name has disappeared; 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, Rudolfine): group 46D, row 1, number 30.
• b/✵ 23 Jan, 1799, d/✟ 1 Oct 1858.
• Civil engineer; bridge and railway construction.
• Planned and designed Suez Canal, but completed after his death.
• Originally buried in St. Marx cemetery; his remains exhumed, moved, and reburied in the central cemetery in 1929.
• Ing. Alois Negrelli Ritter von Moldelbe: group 32A, number 23.
• b/✵ 7 Dec 1801, d/✟ 25 May 1862.
• Singer, playwright, actor.
• His 1842 comedy “Einen Jux will er sich machen” became the basis for the play and subsequent movie “Hello, Dolly!” (1964, 1969).
• Originally buried in Währinger Ortsfriedhof; his remains exhumed, moved, and reburied in a grave of honour at Zentralfriedhof in 1881.
• Johann Nepomuk Nestroy: group 32A, number 6.
Eduard van der Nüll
• b/✵ 9 Jan 1812 (baptism), d/✟ 4 Apr 1868.
• Architect, in partnership with friend August Sicard von Sicardsburg.
• Originally buried in Währinger Ortsfriedhof; his remains were exhumed, moved, and reburied at Zentralfriedhof by 1889 (at the latest).
• Eduard van der Nüll: group 32A, number 5.
Julius von Payer
• b/✵ 2 Sep 1841, d/✟ Verstorben: 30 Aug 1915.
• “Führer der Nordpol-Expedition 1872–1874 und Historien-Maler” / “Leader of North Pole expedition 1872–1874 and history-painter”.
• Austrian-Hungarian expedition reported existence of archipelago in the Arctic Ocean; named Franz Josef Land after Emperor Franz Josef I.
• Payer’s paintings during expedition found in Vienna’s Museum of Military History; e.g., “Nie Zurück“.
• Dr. phil. Julius Ritter von Payer: group 32A, number 37.
Familie ROTHSCHILD (Austria branch)
• Established banking and finance houses in Europe.
• Nathaniel; brother Albert married Bettina; Albert & Bettina’s children Charlotte, Oskar, Georg, Louis. Nathaniel and Albert: sons of Salomon Mayer who founded Austria branch, and grandsons of founder Mayer Amschel.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: mausoleum for Familie Rothschild; group 6, row 29, number 49.
• 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/✵ 15 May 1862, d/✟ 21 Oct 1931.
• Writer, playwright; his 1926 “Traumnovelle” (Dream Novel) forms the basis for 1999 film “Eyes Wide Shut” by Stanley Kubrick.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: Arthur Schnitzler; group 6, number 4.
• 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 Ortsfriedhof cemetery, his remains were exhumed and moved here to the much larger Zentralfriedhof in 1888.
• Franz Peter Schubert: group 32A, number 28.
• b/✵ 23 Jan 1897, d/✟ 18 Jan 2000.
• Architect, mother of the modern fitted kitchen, activist.
• Prof. Margarethe Helene Rudolfine Schütte: 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.
• The Banffy family grave includes Dionys Banffy Graf (count), Johanna Banffy Gräfin (countess), and Minona Stackelberg Baronin (baroness), as Minona lived with the Banffy family.
• Originally buried in Währinger Ortsfriedhof; the Banffy remains were exhumed, moved, and reburied at Zentralfriedhof in 1896.
• Minona Stackelberg Baronin: group 48A, row G1, number 1.
Minona von Stackelberg (1813-1897) was born to Maria Josepha Aloysia (Joséphine) Brunswick. Josephine got along well with her piano instructor who was Beethoven. How well did they get along? After the death of her 1st husband, Josephine wed Baron Christoph Stackelberg in 1808; however, Stackelberg’s relation with their children was at best complicated and at worst neglectful. Pinning down Minona’s paternal origins are another matter entirely: was she Stackelberg’s daughter? Or someone else’s? Naturally, the latter would’ve been juicy and scandalous. Later in life, Minona lived with the Banffy aristocratic family, possibly related as extended family of nobility. That’s why Minona’s grave is with the Banffys in Vienna’s central cemetery (Zentralfriedhof), although now the headstone is gone and the grave stone cover is devoid of all markings.
The anadrome (reverse anagram) of “Minona” is “anonim”, similar to the German word “anonym” or anonymous. This seems like one heckuva loaded coincidence until learning that the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe used the name “Minona” frequently in his 1774 novel “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” (The Sorrows of Young Werther), which in turn is related to a set of Scottish poems. “Minona” is itself coined from Gaelic, meaning “a gentle air” or “a gentle melody”.
Johann Strauss I (Vater)
• b/✵ 14 Mar 1804, d/✟ 25 Sep 1849.
• Composer, imperial court royal ball music director, known for his “Radetzky March”. His sons Johann II, Eduard, and Josef formed an informal contemporary dynasty of “Wiener Walzer” (Vienna Waltzes)
• Originally buried in Döblinger Ortsfriedhof; remains exhumed and moved to Zentralfriedhof in 1927.
• His wife Anna Strauss (née Streim) buried with son Josef; see below.
• Johann Baptist Strauss: 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.
• His brother Josef and mother Anna at the same grave, see below.
• Johann Strauss II (son/junior), his wife Adele: group 32A, number 27.
Eduard “Edi” Strauss
• b/✵ 15 Mar 1835, d/✟ 28 Dec 1916.
• Johann II’s brother, composer, royal court music director.
• His father Johann I/Vater, see above; his mother Anna buried with brother Josef, see below.
• Eduard Strauss (grandson Eduard II and his wife Elisabeth): 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 and his mother Anna Strauss (née Streim) were first buried at Vienna’s St. Marx cemetery. In 1909, their remains were exhumed, moved, and reburied here at Zentralfriedhof.
• Josef Strauss, Anna Strauss: group 32A, number 44.
Familie Wiener von Welten
• Merchant wholesaler and banker Eduard Wiener (von Welten) b/✵ 8 Jul 1822, d/✟ 14 Oct 1886; son Alfred b/✵ 4 Feb 1854; d/✟ 13 Jun 1886.
• Palace building at Schwarzenbergplatz 2 named after family.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: mausoleum for Familie Wiener von Welten; group 6, row 29, number 43.
Friedrich “Fritz” Wotruba
• b/✵ 23 Apr 1907, d/✟ 28 Aug 1975.
• Sculptor; blocky column over grave as reminder of his design of the Wotruba Church in city’s 23rd district.
• Prof. Friedrich Wotruba, his wife Lucy: 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.
Moritz & Ida Zweig
• Moritz b/✵ 28 Dec 1845, d/✟ 2 Mar 1926; Ida d/✟ 23 Aug 1938 (85 years old).
• Parents of Stefan Zweig who is buried in Brazil.
• Old Jewish Cemetery: Moritz & Ida Zweig; group 6, row 1, number 11.
Memorial to victims for a free Austria 1934–1945
• Den Opfern für ein freies Österreich 1934–1935.
• Memorial structure dedicated to the victims of the struggle for a free Austria, 1934–1945.
• Designed by sculptor Fritz Cremer, and architects Wilhelm Schütte and Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky.
• Inaugurated 1 Nov 1948; location at group 41H.
Soviet Red Army WW2 soldiers
• Sowjetische Kriegstote, 2. Weltkrieg.
• Over 2400 Soviet Red Army soldiers are laid to rest in an area behind the Borromäus church.
• Inaugurated in 1946, location 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.
13 Responses to “My Vienna: Zentralfriedhof (central cemetery)”
So many well known souls are resting in this cemetery, people of a master mind, I would call it. I do hope they will never been forgotten, especially from the younger generations, because they set milestones of amazing work. Thank you for posting this. By the way I love to go cemeteries , I spent an entire week in Paris on cemeteries to photography grave stones, many years ago.
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After doing a little bit of research, what I found interesting was the variety of people: artists, scientists, engineers, etc. This should not be a surprise, because Zentralfriedhof is the big cemetery in the city which receives burials of people from all walks of life. I definitely see Parisian cemeteries as an interesting photography project. Thanks for your comment, Cornelia!
Indeed, in this cemetery so many people of the World War got to rest in there.
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Whoa that’s a lot notable names in there. I didn’t know that Beethoven died in Vienna. Interesting post 🙂
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Vienna has seen a lot of history, and thankfully, the two world wars didn’t completely destroy the various cemeteries around the city. Though born in Germany’s Bonn, Beethoven lived most of his life in Vienna; that means there are a lot of places around town where he lived and spent time. Thanks, Amor, for stopping by and for your comment!
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