History of the Vienna Central Cemetery

The Vienna Central Cemetery is not one that has evolved slowly with the passing of time unlike many others. It was designed in 1870 by the landscape architects Karl Jonas Mylius and Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli. The fact that the burial site was intended for all religious denominations triggered intense political debate as to the manner in which it should be inaugurated. It was eventually opened in a private ceremony and in accordance with Roman Catholic practices on 30 October 1874.

The cemetery has been enlarged a total of seven times, most recently in 1921. Vienna Central Cemetery suffered considerable bomb damage from air raids conducted during the Second World War. 12,000 graves and hundreds of crypts were completely destroyed. Every building was damaged. The church's dome was obliterated by an incendiary bomb. Following extensive restoration work, Vienna Central Cemetery has since assumed the position of the most important burial site in Vienna and presents itself as a cemetery for every religion.

History

1870 Call for tenders to plan Vienna Central Cemetery (winner: architects Mylius and Bluntschli)

1871 Construction begins

1874Roman Catholic inauguration on 30 October, officially opened on 1 November

1877 Jewish section opened

1880 Administrative buildings erected, covered footpaths set up by Gate 2

1881Ruling by the local municipal council to "award dedicated burial sites to famous persons in Vienna Central Cemetery."

1885Honorary grave lot 0 set up to the left of the main entrance

1888Honorary grave lots 14A and 32A set up

1904Protestant cemetery opened

1905Morgues 1 and 2 built adjacent to Gate 2 and the portal area (architect: Max Hegele)

1906 to 1907Covered footpaths and columbaria set up either side of the planned cemetery church1907 to 1910Cemetery church ‘St. Charles Borromeo' built (architect: Max Hegele)

1917New Jewish cemetery opened1922Honorary grave lots 14C and 32C enlarged; crematorium opened (architect: Clemens Holzmeister)

1923Morgue 3 built (architect: Karl Ehn)1924Residential building constructed for cemetery employees1951Presidential crypt constructed

1968Hall 2 converted for use as a morgue for famous individuals

1995Restoration work on the cemetery church begins

1999Park of Peace and Power opened

2000Cemetery church reopened