Day 7: Thursday, September 17

Famous Dead Composers and Musicians: A Trip to Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof

We were up a bit earlier today, about 7:30. We showered, had breakfast and planned our day.

Leaving the apartment about 9:45 we took our usual tram #43 to Shottentor station, then transferred to the #71 tram out to the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in the southeast end of the city. The Central Cemetery, which opened in 1874, is an awesome place. Here, you’ll find graves from Beethoven to Falco, fantastic Art Nouveau architecture and abundant lush greenery. Zentralfriedhof is much more than just a last resting place. Around two square kilometres in area, it is the second largest cemetery in Europe. Some of the graves of honor are world-famous musicians and performers such as Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven and Falco.

It was a long tram ride – about 40 minutes – out to the Friedhof. We got off the tram at Tor (Gate) 2 and began our walkabout. First, we found the Infocentre and talked to a sparkling, lively, witty Austrian woman (imagine that) and got a map plus directions to the graves of the composers and… wait for it… Falco.

We began our walkabout:

We continued our cemetery wandering and eventually found the tombs of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Strauss:

I took some pictures, got sprayed by the water cannons watering the gardens, then we walked down to section 40 to find the grave of one of my musical heroes: Falco. A very interesting and unique grave, and a fitting tribute. The monument itself doesn’t translate to a photo too well; it’s a large translucent glass panel. Regardless, here it is:

This is why Falco was so awesome

It was a brutally hot day, so we had to rest in the shade a while to rejuvenate. Eventually it was time to go, so we found our way to Tor (Gate) 3 and caught the #71 tram back to the city centre. We got off at the Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) stop where there was a Subway (restaurant) and had a sub: not exotic food but it was delicious (even the subs are good in this part of the world)!

We finished our meal, then walked through the Burggarten to admire the Mozart monument:

In the Burggarten.
Bundesgarten Burggarten: When something begins with “Bundes” in Austria, it usually means that it is owned or managed by federal (Austria-wide) public authority – in this case Bundesgärten (Federal Gardens).

Stadtpark (City Park)

Walking up the Ring Road to the Stubenring section, we happened upon the Stadtpark (City Park) and went it > beautiful!

Here’s a little video panorama of Stadtpark:

We checked out the Strauss monument while touring this lovely park:

… and, of course, I got ice cream!:

Enjoying treats in Stadtpark

Museum fur Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts)

We rested a bit on a shady bench, then proceeded to the down the Ring Road to the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst (MAK) [Museum of Applied Arts]. Admission to the MAK was covered under our Vienna Pass (bonus!). The building was beautifully air conditioned which was a relief as we were both about ready to drop from the heat. The MAK houses a wide collection of applied arts, design, architecture, and contemporary art which has developed in the course of 150 years. It was a beautiful building, and we toured the engrossing floors for about an hour and a half:

OUCH! Only when I plopped myself down on this couch did I find out it was made of metal!

Time For A Break…

Keeping an eye on the precarious, flapping canopy above. NOLI Pizzeria Ristorante on Stubenring.

Getting our fill of art for the moment, we left the MAK and proceeded further down the Ring Road. In need of rest and refreshment, we crossed the street and went to a little Italian cafe called NOLI Pizzeria Ristorante on Stubenring, where we sat and chilled on the sidewalk patio. Vince had a Cappuccino and sparkling water (prickelnd), and I had a black tea and still water (ohne). We lingered for a long time here as it was so restful (had a friendly Hungarian waiter).

Feeling recharged, we left and continued back up the Ring Road on the opposite side of the street. Getting on the Stubentor U-Bahn, went up the U3 line to Ottakring station. There we caught the S-Bahn to one stop short of Hernals station so we could pick up some grocery items from the Hofer grocery store before heading back to the apartment for the day.

On our way to the U-Bahn we encountered the former Imperial Ministry of War building
Mozart Balls (Mozartkugel)

Later, Vince made a lovely supper of cold meats and (very stinky) cheese. And… there were Mozart balls (Mozartkugel) for dessert! For those not familiar, a Mozart ball (Mozartkugel) is a small, round sugar confection made of pistachio, marzipan and nougat that is covered with dark chocolate. To die for.

After dinner I backed up and reviewed the day’s pics, and updated this journal. Exhausted after yet another busy day, we were off to bed at about 10:15PM.

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