The Zentralfriedhof (German for "Central Cemetery") is the largest and most famous cemetery among Vienna's nearly 50 cemeteries.

Name and location

The cemetery's name is descriptive of its significance as Vienna's biggest cemetery, not of its geographic location, as it is not situated in the city centre of the Austrian capital, but on the very outskirts, in the outer city district of Simmering, and its address is Simmeringer Hauptstraße 230–244, Vienna 1110, Austria.


The decision to establish a new, big cemetery for Vienna came in 1863. Around that time, it became clear that – due to industrialisation – the city's population would eventually increase to such an extent that the existing communal cemeteries would prove insufficient. It was expected that Vienna, then capital of the large Austrian Empire, would grow to have four million inhabitants by the end of the 20th century. The city council therefore decided to assign an area significantly outside of the city's borders and of such a gigantic dimension, that it would suffice for a long time to come. It was decided in 1869 that a flat area in Simmering should be the site of the future Zentralfriedhof.

Opened in 1874, then still lying outside of Vienna's city borders, the cemetery spans 2.4 square kilometres with 3.3 million interred here. It is also second largest cemetery, after Hamburg's Ohlsdorf Cemetery (more than 4 km²), by area and largest by number of interred in Europe.

Interred in the Zentralfriedhof are notables such as Beethoven and Schubert who were moved there in 1888, and Johannes Brahms.

The church in the centre of the cemetery is named Karl-Borromäus-Kirche (Charles Borromeo Church), but is also known as Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Gedächtniskirche (Karl Lueger Memorial Church) because of the crypt of the former mayor of Vienna below the high altar.

In addition to the Catholic section, there is a Protestant cemetery, a small Russian Orthodox burial area, and two Jewish cemeteries. Although the older of the two, established in 1863, was destroyed by the Nazis during the Kristallnacht, around 60,000 graves still remain intact. Prominent burials here include those of the Rothschild family and that of the author Arthur Schnitzler. The second Jewish cemetery was built in 1917 and is still in use today.

The musician Wolfgang Ambros honoured the Zentralfriedhof in his 1975 song "Es lebe der Zentralfriedhof" ("Long live the Zentralfriedhof"), marking with it the 100th anniversary of the cemetery's opening.


Due to the size of the cemetery, private car traffic is allowed on the cemetery grounds every day of the year except November 1/All Saint's Day, although a toll has to be paid. Car traffic is not allowed on November 1 (All Saint's Day) due to potential traffic jams. Also, a public "cemetery bus" line (no. 106) exists, with several stops inside the cemetery grounds.

The old Simmering horse tram was replaced by an electric tram, running from Schwarzenbergplatz to the Zentralfriedhof, in 1901 and it was renumbered as "71" (der 71er) in 1907: it remains the most popular route to the cemetery using public transport. Among the Viennese, a popular euphemism for a death is that the deceased person "has taken the 71" ("Er hat den 71er genommen").

The metro suburban railway (Vienna S-Bahn) also has a stop called "Zentralfriedhof" close to the old Jewish part of the cemetery. The closest underground stop is "Simmering" (Vienna U-Bahn, line U3), about 2 km away from the cemetery.

Notable interments
  • Wolf Albach-Retty (1906–1967), Austrian actor
  • Rudolf von Alt (1812–1905), painter
  • Franz Antel (1913–2007), film director, writer and producer
  • Leon Askin (1907–2005), actor
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), composer
  • Erna Berger (1900–1990), opera singer
  • Theodor Billroth (1829–1894), surgeon
  • Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906), physicist/mathematician
  • Max Böhm (1916–1982), actor
  • Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877–1952), composer, with his wife Elisabeth
  • Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), composer
  • Ignaz Brüll (1846–1907), composer
  • Carl Czerny (1791–1857), piano teacher and composer
  • Elfi von Dassanowsky (1924–2007), singer and film producer
  • Otto Erich Deutsch (1883–1967), musicologist
  • Anton Dominik Fernkorn (1813–1878), sculptor
  • Leopold Figl (1902–1965), statesman
  • Carl von Ghega (1802–1860), engineer
  • Alexander Girardi (1850–1918), actor
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714–1787), composer
  • Karl Goldmark (1830–1915), composer
  • Baron Theophil von Hansen (1813–1891), architect
  • Johann von Herbeck (1831–1877), composer
  • Falco civil name Johann (Hans) Hölzel (1957–1998), rock singer
  • Curd Jürgens (1912–1982), actor
  • Wilhelm Kienzl (1857–1941), composer
  • Thomas Klestil (1932–2004), Austrian president (1992–2004)
  • Friedrich Carl Knauer (1850–1926), zoologist
  • Bruno Kreisky (1911–1990), statesman
  • Karl Kraus (1874–1936), writer
  • Joseph Lanner (1801–1843), composer
  • Lotte Lehmann (1888–1976), opera singer
  • György Ligeti (1923–2006), composer
  • Theo Lingen (1903–1978), actor/director
  • Guido von List (1848–1919) 19th-century mystic Germanic and Runic revivalist
  • Adolf Loos (1870–1933), architect
  • Max Lorenz (1901–1975), German tenor
  • Karl Lueger (1844–1910), politician
  • Hans Moser (1880–1964), actor
  • Siegfried Marcus (1831–1898), automobile pioneer
  • Karl Millöcker (1842–1899), composer
  • Karl Eugen Neumann (1865–1915), European pioneer of Buddhism
  • Walter Nowotny (1920–1944), World War II Luftwaffe pilot
  • Helene Odilon (1865–1939), actor
  • Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1885–1967), film director
  • Hans Pfitzner (1869–1949), composer
  • Clemens von Pirquet (1874–1929), scientist and pediatrician
  • Paula von Preradović (1887–1951), writer
  • Helmut Qualtinger (1928–1986), actor
  • Julius Raab (1891–1964), statesman
  • Geli Raubal (1908–1931), Hitler's niece and rumoured lover
  • Karl Renner (1870–1950), statesman
  • Richard Réti (1889–1929), chess grandmaster
  • Albert Salomon von Rothschild (1844–1911), financier
  • Nathaniel Mayer Anselm von Rothschild (1836–1905), financier
  • Léonie Rysanek (1926–1998), opera singer
  • Antonio Salieri (1750–1825), composer
  • Franz Schmidt (1874–1939), composer
  • Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931), writer
  • Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951), composer
  • Franz Schubert (1797–1828), composer
  • Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897–2000), architect
  • David Schwarz (1852–1897) aviation pioneer
  • Alma Seidler (1899–1977), actress
  • Matthias Sindelar (1903–1939), footballer
  • Robert Stolz (1880–1975), composer
  • Eduard Strauss (1835–1916), composer
  • Johann Strauss I (1804–1849), composer
  • Johann Strauss II (1825–1899), composer
  • Josef Strauss (1827–1870), composer
  • Franz von Suppé (1819–1895), composer
  • Friedrich Torberg (1908–1979), writer
  • Kurt Waldheim (1918–2007), UN Secretary-General, Austrian president
  • Franz Werfel (1890–1945), poet
  • Anton Wildgans (1881–1932), poet
  • Hugo Wolf (1860–1903), composer
  • Fritz Wotruba (1907–1975), sculptor
  • Joe Zawinul (1932–2007), jazz keyboardist and composer
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871–1942), composer


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