Carriage rides in the city of the dead
Would you also like to follow in the footsteps of the authors Marliese Mendel and Alexandra Gruber, described in their book „50 things a Viennese must have done" (Pichler-Verlag)? Then you've come to the right place, because the Frank Wulf Fiaker business is the only one
Round trips to the central cemetery of
Mid-March to early November
Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays
You can reach me by phone at the following number:
+43 (0) 699 181 54 022
Use the option to order vouchers. The vouchers will be sent by post.
Phone: +43 (0)699 181 54 022
The layout of the cemetery
When planning the size of the cemetery area, in view of the strong urban growth and the expansion of the Austrian Empire at the time, it was assumed that the capital and royal seat of Vienna would develop into a metropolis with around four million inhabitants by the end of the 20th century. In the search for a suitable area, properties in Kaiserebersdorf, Rannersdorf, Himberg, Pellendorf and Gutenhof were shortlisted. Due to a response from the Vienna City Council to the k.k. Geological Reichsanstalt commissioned a study, the selection was narrowed down to the properties in Kaiserebersdorf and Rannersdorf, as these two areas have an ideal soil quality and level location for a cemetery. In this study, the geologist Dionýs Stur referred to the favorable properties of the loess soil there, which accelerates the decomposition process of corpses compared to other types of soil and reduces the risk of the „spread and spread of epidemic diseases from the cemetery“. It was also pointed out that loess soil is easy to work on, so that graves can be excavated more quickly and that there is also less danger of the grave walls collapsing. The decision was ultimately made in favor of Kaiserebersdorf. In 1869 the local council approved the acquisition of a piece of land in Kaiserebersdorf and two smaller grounds in Simmering. In 1870 a competition for the design of the cemetery was announced. The design by the Frankfurt architects Karl Jonas Mylius and Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli convinced the jury, and after only three years of construction (1871 to 1874) Vienna’s new “city of the dead” was built.  However, the Sankt Marxer Friedhof had to be closed for further burials as early as 1872, and space also became scarce at the other communal cemeteries, which is why part of the site was used as a provisional cemetery around a year before the opening. The original area is an irregular pentagon between the Simmeringer Hauptstraße in the northeast and (clockwise) the allotment gardens at the Avars, the Aspangbahn, today’s Mylius-Bluntschli-Straße accompanying it in the southwest and the Weichseltalweg in the northwest. Originally the cemetery had eleven gates, the numbering of which begins clockwise at the corner of Weichseltalweg and Simmeringer Hauptstraße. The main entrance is Gate 2. From this entrance, the pylons of which bear the intertwined Liberty monogram “GW” (Municipality of Vienna), a main axis points to the southwest over the old arcades to the cemetery church, which is flanked by the new arcades, and beyond Church to a natural garden on Mylius-Bluntschli-Straße. To the left and right of the main axis, a rectangular grid develops, on which five diagonal avenues are superimposed. An avenue oval surrounds the cemetery church and accompanies the new arcades. Concentrically around this oval, three semicircular avenues together form a cross-shaped plan in the middle of which the Karl Borromeo Church was later built. In order to make the cemetery more attractive (see below: The Unloved Cemetery), the community announced a competition for its structural design in 1903, which Max Hegele won. By 1907, Hegele built the main portal (Gate 2) and the two funeral halls that flank the entrance area between Gate 2 and the old arcades. Hegele crowned the monumental complex between 1908 and 1911 with the construction of the Karl Borromeo Church. The administration building in the entrance area now houses a café and the “info point”.