Friday, September 17, 2010

A trip to the central cemetery

robably it's not to everybodies taste to spend her/his weekends on a graveyard, but I like to visit the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna from time to time. The Zentralfriedhof is the biggest cemetry in Vienna. It is located in the outskirts of the city (in Simmering) and can easily be reached by bike. There are also various connections by public transport (e.g. trams 6 and 71).

I set off in the morning at the Donaukanal bike path ...

donaukanal bike path
another panda

... and continued along some more narrow paths. However, it's always interesting to discover new parts of the town. I can't even remember where that church was, but it looked so fancy that I took a picture.

narrow two-way bike path  some church

The Zentralfriedhof is a nice place for a walk -- or even bike ride. Because it's prefectly fine to cycle there. The central cemetry is pretty big, so a bicycle is a convenient way to move around. But there's also a bus system operating there, and one can also get special permissions for cars (handy for old and disabled people). Still, I left the bicycle at the door and just strolled around.


Pretty much in the center of the cemetery is the Karl-Borromäus-Kirche, a quite big and facinating Art Nouveau church (build in 1908-10 by Max Hegele, a student of Otto Wagner).


There are also some macabre discoveries one can make. For example, don't be shocked when you find an "Abort" sign. That just is an old expression for toilets. At another toilet I saw some really cute pun, but for some reason I just cannot remember what it was exactly (if you want to find it out yourself: enter at the main entrance, turn left and pick the first toilet that crosses your way).


Some of the graves are pretty old. I particularly like the old jewish section. Among tourists, the memorials to famous composers and musicians (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, Falco, Joe Zawinul -- you name them), writers and all kinds of other important people are very popular.

According to my late grandma, one of her brothers was buried at the Zentralfriedhof in World War II. I don't know where that could be though, and maybe it's just a name written at some memorial. But I don't even remember his name. Still, gives the whole trip also a vague personal touch.

bike lane

I enjoyed the stroll and the bike rides there and back. Do you usually head off  for recreational rides on weekends? Been to a cemetry recently?

Further information on the Zentralfriedhof Wien
Der Wiener Zentralfriedhof (in German, very detailled information)
Friedhöfe Wien (in German)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I grew up in the UK I lived for a while near the national Friedhof for German servicemen who dies in the UK itself during the war. I enjoyed visiting there because it was a very peaceful place in all ways, and gently but not aggressively pacifist.

Now I often wander through our local cemetery. Germany seems to have knack of making cemeteries very alive and pleasant places.

Post a Comment