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Experience the famous Lipizzaner horses in the royal ambience of the Imperial Palace.
© WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud
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Since death is a part of life in Vienna, funerals have been celebrated under the concept of "a schöne Leich" ("a beautiful corpse"). Not least because of this, the cemeteries are not just tombs, but attractive amenities that enrich the cityscape. Especially the Vienna Central Cemetery. More than two square kilometers in area, it has a total of 330,000 graves. In addition to Austria's federal presidents, other famous Austrians are also buried here, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Arthur Schnitzler. The graves of prominent personalities can also be found at the Hietzinger Cemetery (Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner) and at the St. Marx Cemetery (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).
However, you'll search in vain for famous names in the Cemetery of the Nameless at Alberner Donauhafen. This is where people who were killed in the Danube floods between 1845 and 1940 were buried, whose identity was never clarified. The Kahlenbergerdorf Cemetery, on the other hand, lies in the middle of the woods. Created in 1783, beautiful Biedermeier graves can still be found here today.
Graves can also be found in Vienna's churches; the most gruesome is in St. Michael's Church. Special climatic conditions prevail in the catacombs, which have preserved the buried bodies. Hundreds of painted coffins and mummified corpses can still be seen. By contrast, numerous members of the nobility were buried in St. Stephen's Cathedral, such as Prince Eugen or Emperor Friedrich III., in a giant marble sarcophagus in the aisle. Buried in the cathedral's catacombs are Vienna's cardinals and archbishops, as well as a number of Habsburgs from the Middle Ages, amongst them Duke Rudolf IV. the Founder. However, most of the Habsburgs are interred in the Imperial Burial Vault on Neuer Markt. A total of 149 members of the former Austrian imperial house found their final resting place here, including 12 emperors and 19 empresses.
A comprehensive overview of the burial sites in Vienna is also provided by the Funeral Museum, which has about 1,000 objects on display.