Vienna’s Second Gift to the World: The Zentralfriedhof


The Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) is the largest and most famous cemetery among Vienna’s nearly 50 cemeteries. Opened in 1874, this enormous cemetery spans 2.4 square kilometres with 3.3 million interred here.

In the late 19th century architects hired by the Viennese city government planned a new cemetery for the growing capital of the huge Austo-Hungarian Empire. Calculations predicted a population of 30-50 million (sic!) Viennese by the end of the 20th century… so the Central Cemetery was designed to fit those giganto-futuristic numbers. A big wall was built around the area.
The Empire collapsed after WWI… two decades later WWII started… and — although Vienna is prospering — today only around 2 million people live in Vienna.
There is a special forest management department for the cemetery. And a big drive hunt takes place from time to time to force deer and other animals out of the cemetery.

Well. We have enough space for all of you, folks, but I’m not sure if we should invite you. That would be morbid. But — actually — “morbidity” could be “Vienna’s Third Gift to the World”.

2 Comments so far

  1. dieselboi (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 12:03 am

    OMG, I’ve wandered around Zentralfriedhof. It began as a trip to see the famous grave sites, but then we wandered over to the old Jewish section. Wow, it was huge and so amazingly vast. Thanks.

  2. mandaya (unregistered) on December 16th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    vienna’s 2nd gift could use slightly more colourful photography.
    lookee here:

    btw agree totally with the “vienna’s gift” series.

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