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Vienna, Austria: Central Cemetery: April 2009

In April 2009, after a few days in London for business, I spent a few more days in Vienna, for fun. This was my first time back in that city since studying there as a college junior in 1994.

My primary activity was attending performances of my favorite opera, Wagner’s Parsifal, at the Vienna State Opera. Photos and information on that to come.

But I also spent the better part of a day at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna’s largest and best-known cemetery (there are several dozen major graveyards in this death-obsessed city).  About sixty-five photographs seemed worth sharing.

The bulk of the photos are of the church at the center of the cemetery. This building was originally known as the Dr. Karl Lueger-Gedächtniskirche, but in an apparent bit of whitewashing (Lueger, a much-loved mayor of Vienna, was a notorious anti-Semite) is now formally called the Friedhofskirche Zum Heiligen Karl Borromäus. Designed by Max Hegele, this church is one of the most spectacular examples of Viennese Jugendstil (art nouveau) architecture.

Most of the others are of grave sites. Hundreds of notable Austrians are buried in the Zentralfriedhof. I focused primarily on composers, opera singers, and other musicians (Beethoven to Falco to Joe Zawinul – they’re all here).

More photos from Vienna to come, but here’s the best I could do at the Central Cemetery. (The photos are probably best worth browsing directly on Flickr here – the Flickr slideshow in Full Screen with “info enabled” is excellent – but I’ve also inserted a three-page gallery below.)

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