Zentralfriedhof Wien – Ida Pfeiffer

The Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery) was established in 1874 in Simmering – far outside Vienna’s city borders. Simmering was incorporated into Vienna 18 years later as the 11th district.

A lot of resistance was given in the early days – above all from the Catholics because it should be a cemetery for „every body“. All corpses should be buried – even Protestants and Jews – in the same area! If there is no peace between the living why should there be peace amongst the dead? Even in the end the dead are somehow different dead …

Anyway nobody wanted to bury their beloved ones far away from home. The local municipal council was in desperate need of an idea to sell of the graves. At last a marketing strategy was developed which was a success since the days of the Pharaoes: award dedicated burial sites to famous persons in Zentralfriedhof. So honorary grave lot 0 was set up in 1885 to the left of the main entrance. Where Mr. Rich, Miss Beautiful and Mr. and Mrs. Famous are buried family Everybody want to be buried too. For start some defenseless and very dead corpses were exhumed and newly buried in this specific area.

Amongst them was Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858), one of the first femal explorers. The Ehrengrab (honorary grave) of Ida Pfeiffer is located in lot 0, row 1, no. 12. Suddenly she was a very important dead person – alive she struggled to keep herself alive – mainly because it was a men’s world.

Today the Zentralfriedhof (2.5 km², 330.000 burials) presents itself as a cemetery for every religion. It’s the second largest cemetery in Europe. And you can spend a lifetime full of fun among the peaceful dead with your camera.

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