Visit the dead

Long live not only the central cemetery

As a musical mood for a morbid city walk, I recommend the song "Es lebe der Zentralfriedhof" (Long live the central cemetery) by Wolfgang Ambros. Beside this cemetery, there are several other locations where you can visit the dead up close. 

Wien

© Angelika Mandler-Saul
  1. 1

    Central Cemetery

    The Central Cemetery in Vienna can be visited to see the "graves of honor", to try the official running track, to admire the Art Nouveau architecture or to eat a cream cake with a view of the graves in the coffee house. Even its own bee tribes reside there, enjoying the tranquility. From Falco to Elfriede Gerstl, Manfred Deix and Johann Strauß to Ella Lingens, from Burgtheater grandees to Waluliso: anyone who strolls along here will not be able to escape the amazement.

  2. 2

    Capuchin Crypt

    Joseph Roth set a literary monument to this crypt and the Theater in der Josefstadt hosted the premiere of the play of the same name: The remains of the crowned heads of the Habsburgs - 150 of them - rest in the Capuchin Crypt. Directly on site or during a virtual tour, you can encounter many Habsburgs, like Anna of Tyrol or Otto, the son of the last Emperor Charles. In the ten different crypts you will learn about quite sad stories behind the personalities.

  3. 3

    The mummies of the Michaelergruft

    The Michaelerkirche is easy to overlook when sightseeing, since the expensive Kohlmarkt shopping mall, the Roman excavations and the Hofburg are its neighbors. Yet there you can see real mummies, open coffins and what feels like tons of bones of human extremities stacked on top of each other. Accessible only with a guided tour, but spooky and worthwhile.

  4. 4

    The catacombs of St. Stephen's Cathedral

    Beneath the popular St. Stephen's Cathedral is a world of its own, which in fact leads into the realm of the dead. Anyone who takes an official guided tour will be amazed at the vastness of this city of the dead, which is located directly beneath the bustling center of Vienna. 10,000 dead bodies in 3,000 burial chambers can be found here - in the former cemetery of the medieval city - along with the entrails of the Habsburgs. A gruesome visit with bones piled up en masse, and that's just the tip of the iceberg: the very largest part of the underground catacomb system is not accessible to us. 

    © Angelika Mandler-Saul
  5. 5

    Heart crypt in the Augustinian Church

    The entrails rest under the cathedral, the bodies in the Capuchin crypt - so who is surprised that the hearts of the Habsburgs have landed somewhere else again? Namely in the Loreto Chapel of the Augustinian Church, meanwhile in the niche called "heart crypt" in a separate room there.

  6. 6

    The cemetery of the nameless

    Whoever lies here at the cemetery has been washed up by the Danube - whether voluntarily or involuntarily. The corpses and body parts collected between 1840 and 1940 were buried here. From the fewest one could elicit the name - but many a sad found personal memories, which they had carried, remind at the grave of the poor souls.

    © Angelika Mandler-Saul

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