While in Vienna, my friend Rachel and I visited Der Wiener Zentralfriedhof, a large cemetery outside of the city. It is known as a place where many esteemed locals are buried as well as famous musical composers such as Beethoven and Mozart.

When we arrived late afternoon, it was fairly quiet in the cemetery. Next to the front entrance gates was an old building with construction scaffolding on the outside of it. The small sign on the steps indicated that it was the information center. Although it looked closed, we decided to try the doors anyways.

The old, white wooden doors were windowless and looked worn down. As I walked up the steps and placed my hand on the doorknob of one of the doors, it slowly started to swing open from the inside. Rachel and I waited, expecting the person on the other side to come walking though. But no one came.

Spooked, we still entered the dark lobby and saw two ladies working behind the desk. We asked for a map and quickly walked out of there. It was strange that the door had opened for us. It wasn’t a modern-looking door we’d expect to be an automatic opener. We then remembered that we were in a cemetery…so who knows what or who could’ve opened the door.

Mozart in Vienna Cemetery

Still chatting about the bizarre incident, we walked toward plot 32A, which held the graves of the famous composers. It was a short five minute walk from the front entrance when we saw the graves of Beethoven and Mozart. Others we found nearby included Johann Strauss and Johannes Brahms. We supposed there were other famous people buried in the cemetery, but these were the main ones we knew.

On the map, the cemetery plots showed that they were divided into different religions, and we noticed there was an area for the Mormons. Being from Utah, it was only right to pay respects as we headed to plot 57C. Surprisingly, the Mormons’ designated plot was very large, but had only a dozen or so headstones on it.

If you go…

Der Wiener Zentralfriedhof
Simmeringer Hauptstraße 230–244, Vienna, Austria
Free admission
www.friedhoefewien.at
Directions: Metro line U4 to Hütteldorf, and then take Tram 6 to Zentralfriedhof Tor 2

About The Author

Britnee traveled around the world with her husband on a shoestring budget for a year. A few of her favorite destinations include Scotland's Isle of Skye, Chile's Torres del Paine, Bolivia's Salt Flats and Nepal's Annapurna Circuit.

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