The Zentralfriedhof (German for "Central Cemetery") is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, largest by number of interred in Europe 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 center of the Austrian capital, but on the outskirts, in the outer city district of Simmering, and its address is Simmeringer Hauptstraße 230-244, Vienna 1110, Austria. 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.
History and Description:
Unlike many others, the Vienna Central Cemetery is not one that has evolved slowly with the passing of time. The decision to establish a new, big cemetery for Vienna came in 1863 when 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. City leaders expected that Vienna, then capital of the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, would grow to four million inhabitants by the end of the 20th century, as no one foresaw the Empire's collapse in 1918.
The city council therefore assigned 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. They decided in 1869 that a flat area in Simmering should be the site of the future Zentralfriedhof. The cemetery was designed in 1870; according to the plans of the Frankfurt landscape architects Karl Jonas Mylius and Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli who were awarded for their project "per angusta ad augusta" (from dire to sublime).