Zentralfriedhof

by Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue October. 21, 2018 1621 views

Today we visited Roland's most precious immovable property: two graves at the Zentralfriedhof. A grave at Zentralfriedhof is an expensive rotting place – almost more expensive than an apartment. On the other hand the apartments and the graves have at least something more in common: the landlord is often unreliable. Today you have to rent a grave. Back in time, when Roland’s great-grandfather bought this two graves, the City of Vienna was really happy to sell off the resting place in the middle of nowhere for an eternity or for the functional periode of the cemetery. In the beginning nobody wanted to bury family members in this large empty modern Zentralfriedhof far away from home without a chance to get there. Typical Vienna - starting a project without thinking about the infrastructure. Nothing changed since!

Let's talk about the landlord. A lot of graves were exhumed in the last years and the stones removed. It seems, there were nobody left of the families or no heir at all. Around the grave, where Roland's parents are buried, is now a lot of empty space. A couple of years ago, it was there was really no space between the graves. The graves were packed side by side like container in a harbor. I photographed some of the red marked graves. They will be gone soon too. I'm sure, we have to watch out, that his estate including his family won't be removed without further notice!

I saw a grave in another area, where the owner wrote a "hands off my property" note and glued it over the inscription of the stone. Seems to be a little odd, but I know for fact, that Austrians love to communicate with sticky notes at gravestones. Most of the time it’s something nasty.

We visited some of the oldest Ehrengräber (graves of honor) too. The charge free resting places for long dead - therefore helpless - VIPs was a very good idea to sell the unwanted burial grounds far away from the heart of the city to the VIP addicted Viennese.

Of course I took some more pictures of Ida’s grave.

Salieri – no, he didn't murder Mozart - died 1825 in Vienna and was buried in the Matzleinsdorfer Friedhof. His remains were exhumed almost 50 years later and transferred to the Zentralfriedhof. The charge free resting places for long dead (therefore helpless) VIPs was a very good idea to sell the unwanted burial grounds far away from the heart of the city to the VIP-addicted Viennese.

There is also a grave for the architect Adolf Loos - it's the last in this row. He designed his own grave stone. Because he was a child molester (nobody will say it aloud), his grave is not anymore a grave of honor, but called a grave of historic interest - as if another "tag" would change the facts! That are the moments I can’t decide #facepalm or #headdesk.

The weather was really dark and wet. It cleared up around noon and we could enjoy bright sunshine and blue sky for half an hour. I took some pictures with Tom's zoom lens as long it didn’t rain. I really enjoyed the visit, because I found some interesting garbage, odd graves and funny situations to photograph. Sadly I promised Roland not to post the situations.

A peaceful sunday after a hard week. Of course at the cemetery - where else?!

I didn't know, that "Fiaker" are driving through the Zentralfriedhof!

I didn't know, that "Fiaker" are driving through the Zentralfriedhof!

Abondoned grave

Abondoned grave

Roland's grandaunts

Roland's grandaunts

abondoned grave

abondoned grave

long alley

long alley

it's autumn

it's autumn

to be removed soon

to be removed soon

it's a private property!

it's a private property!

Dear (?) Vienna. This grave was bought - as long as the cemetery will exist (Friedhofsdauer)! It's not allowed to be removed. RIP?

Dear (?) Vienna. This grave was bought - as long as the cemetery will exist (Friedhofsdauer)! It's not allowed to be removed. RIP?

A lot of graves were exhumed and don't exist anymore.

A lot of graves were exhumed and don't exist anymore.

Ida Pfeiffer

Ida Pfeiffer

But Mozart's rivalry with Salieri is a fact.

But Mozart's rivalry with Salieri is a fact.

Doorway to eternity ...

Doorway to eternity ...

Where "money" is buried.

Where "money" is buried.

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There are 15 comments , add yours!
Camellia Staab 12 months ago

Some really excellent sharp photos Sigrid, but am I understanding your narrative correctly......they rent the plots out now instead of selling? If that is the case how long can you rent them for and then what happens after that time period?

12 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 12 months ago

I'm not entirely sure. Roland said, it could be 10 years, after the end of this period you can rent it again for another 10 years. The unpaid graves will be exhumed and afterwards the place will be free for the next "silent guest". I'm almost sure you can't buy the plots. There are still the modern "graves of honor" where "rich & famous" (but often not very honorable) people get their resting places for free.

12 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 12 months ago

WOW! That is amazing. I guess it's best to be cremated and not have to worry about paying for something your family ( I say family cause if one is dead one doesn't know the difference) can't own.

12 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 12 months ago

There is rent to pay for a plot you will put the urn to rest for the eternity of 10 years ...

12 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Sigrid not everyone puts the their urn to rest in a plot...at least not here. "ashes to ashes dust to dust"  The ashes are spread all over somewhere :)

11 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year ago

Wonderful series, Sis! The variety and razor-sharp details are remarkable! Love the commentary, as always! Wow!

1 year ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year ago

😊☺ Thanks!!! 😊☺

1 year ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 12 months ago

Thank YOU!!!smile

12 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year ago

Your pictures are getting better and better. Ida Pffeifer is a role model to follow (didn't know her before this post). Sorry for being absent but I was "buried" (pun intended) in work last week. Kudos

1 year ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year ago

THANKS! 😊
You just descibed my life too. Working for long hours, late at night until it was almost dawn again. 😴

1 year ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year ago

A place with a lot of photo opps. The situation, one we know also here. Here they clean up graveyards and keep the most beautifull,sometimes you eant to visit a grave and find yourself in front of an empty place.

1 year ago Edited

Zentralfriedhof is worth a lot of visits. I try to be careful not to photograph the "last private property" but now I think about documenting the graves, which will be soon gone forever.

1 year ago Edited

You really should

1 year ago Edited
David Swatton 1 year ago

This is all a bit weird... where are the "removed" removed to? It always amazes me that so much sentimental attachment is invested in a place where the remains of people are placed. They don't care any more. Perhaps more should be made of life rather than death.

1 year ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to David Swatton 1 year ago

Exactly my words!
The "who is who" in town among the dead? Like the roman graves besides the roads as public relations campaign ...
I care for my parents now, but I won't care for their graves - maybe, because it would break my heart every time I had to visit it? On the other hand I really like cemeteries, because of the history, the art and stories like https://howardwilliamsblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/21/meeting-the-chewing-gum-girl/

1 year ago Edited
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