We came to Der Wiener Zentralfriedhof, the Vienna Central Cemetery, to see dead musicians. The German-only map showed some Konfessionelle Bereiche (“sectarian divisions”) and featured a photo of a “Mormonen” monument – middle right below. How curious!
We made our way to section 57C and saw this statue of Christ and a child facing, presumably, the child’s parents. Given its location, the parents are apparently being welcomed into heaven where the child has already been for some time.
I found an image of the original concept, which will be very interesting to temple-going Latter-day Saints. Note the yin and yang color differentiation at their feet.
The words around the base of the monument are: ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben; wer an mich glaubt, wird leben, auch wenn er stirbt. In English: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).
The statue is at the center of several family headstones:
This Mormon section of the cemetery has room for 165 graves and 6 crypts. More info here if you’re interested.
Vienna is a cool place for fans of music and cemeteries. On our bike tour we saw monuments to Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner –
The Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof) is a few miles out of town, a quick Uber ride away if you don’t want to figure out the buses. If you can decipher the map or just wander around long enough you’ll find Group 32A, final resting place of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, and Johann Strauss.
There’s also a monument to Mozart (who died in 1791 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in the St. Marx Communal Cemetery).
While you’re at it, you can find modern composer Arnold Schönberg (Group 32C), Mozart’s rival (in the movie Amadeus if not in real life) Antonio Salieri (grave 54 along the outer wall of the cemetery), and a nice little honorary grave to Austrian musician Heinz Neubrand.
Also, remember the weird 80s hit Rock Me Amadeus by Falco? His real name was Hans Hölzel and he was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery after he died in a car crash in 1998 (grave 64 in Group 40).
All over town you will see Mozart chocolates (Mozartkugel) for sale. You almost can’t help buying a few but please try to resist. They are filled with pistachio marzipan, which tastes like powdered bones.
Instead, spend your hard-earned euros on the most amazing gummy candies you’ll ever try, at Bärenland –
If you like cemeteries and you like Mormons, you’ll love the Salt Lake City Cemetery. The oldest known burial here was in 1847, a child named Mary B. Wallace. Two years later, George Wallace was on the committee that recommended the place to Brigham Young. The cemetery covers 120 acres and there are now (September 2015) over 124,000 people buried here (out of a total 130,000 burial sites).
Presidents of the Church
Eleven Presidents of the Church are buried here: John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George A. Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Howard W. Hunter, and Gordon B. Hinckley. I’m missing a couple of photos, but here are most of them –
Members of the Quorum of the Twelve
Including George Q. Cannon, Hugh B. Brown, James E. Talmage, Neal A. Maxwell, Bruce R. McConkie, J. Golden Kimball, and Anthon H. Lund –
Missionary Martyr Joseph Standing One of the most curious memorials to me is for Joseph Standing, an early missionary of the Church to the Southern States. He was killed by a mob near the town of Varnell, Georgia in 1879. The memorial reflects some hope of heavenly vengeance.
Those who created the memorial wanted to make sure we remembered the names of the mob members. A poem concludes:
Our brother rests beneath his native sod, His murderers are in the hands of God. Weep, weep for them, not him whose silent dust Here waits the resurrection of the dust.
Here are a few more headstones, including those for Truman O. Angell, Porter Rockwell, Karl G. Maeser, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, William Clayton, and W. W. Phelps –
In Zermatt, Switzerland – the ski town from which you can see the Matterhorn in the distance – there’s a fascinating and moving little cemetery behind the St. Mauritius Catholic Church. It memorializes those who died climbing (or descending) nearby mountains.