Dedicated graves of the city of Vienna

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Honor graves group
The monumental grave of Johann Nepomuk Prix
Adolf Loos' grave, designed as a no-frills stone block
Plaque "Honorary Grave of the City of Vienna"
Honorary grave of the singer Falco

Dedicated graves of the city of Vienna (also: dedicated grave sites ) is the generic term for graves dedicated to honor, which are located in different cemeteries, and so-called honor graves, which are created exclusively in the central cemetery.

Currently (2009) there are more than 350 honorary graves and more than 600 honorary graves in the Central Cemetery, more than 550 honorary graves are in Vienna cemeteries , and a few outside Vienna.


The establishment of honorary graves was the successful attempt by the City of Vienna to make the central cemetery in Simmering , which opened in 1874, more attractive to the population.

In 1880 the Vienna archive and library director Karl Weiß was commissioned to locate the graves of deserving and famous personalities in Vienna and the surrounding area, so that they could be reburied in graves of honor in the central cemetery. Franz Freiherr von Uchatius was one of the first personalities to be entered in the "Grave Book" created by Weiß .

Honorary graves were established from 1885. With the considerable increase in the course of the following decades, so did the costs, which in 1954 prompted the City of Vienna to introduce not only “honorary graves” but also “honorary graves”, which should put less of a burden on the budget. The third category dedicated to graves, which was introduced at the time and was only awarded for 10 years, was abolished in 1978.

  • Honorary graves are located exclusively in the Central Cemetery and in special honor graves groups (one exception is the honorary grave of Gustav Klimt on the Hietzinger cemetery is). They are awarded for the long-term existence of the cemetery, the City of Vienna pays for all costs.
  • Graves dedicated to honor are located in 34 of the 46 municipal cemeteries. They are also given for the duration of the cemetery, but the city only pays the grave rent. Relatives are responsible for care, if available and available; otherwise the grave is also cared for at the city's expense. Graves dedicated to honor can also be found in denominational cemeteries in Vienna, especially in the Protestant and the two Jewish cemeteries (which are located in the Central Cemetery and the Evangelical Cemetery in Matzleinsdorf ). In these cases, the City of Vienna pays the rent for the grave; the care of the grave site is borne by the respective religious community.
  • The Historic Tombs category was introduced in October 2012 in order to be able to preserve the tombs of historically controversial people without actually honoring them in any way.

Additionally there was over time

  • the dedication of the burial site for the duration of the cemetery,
  • the dedication of the crypt,
  • covering the costs of the funeral,
  • the design of the tomb as well as
  • Laying of wreaths on the occasion of birthday or death anniversaries as posthumous honors for the deceased.

The allocation of dedicated graves falls within the competence of the Vienna Cultural Office ( Municipal Department 7). Resolutions in this regard are made by the “Honorary Advisory Board” established in 1965, in the last instance the mayor.


In October 2003 the Vienna City Council decided to set up a commission to record all grave sites and to scientifically review the dedications of honorary graves made during the National Socialist rule in Austria between 1938 and 1945. In addition, the commission also checked those graves that were dedicated to honor. In addition to the 13 graves of honor in the period in question, 76 more graves were added.

In the course of its research, the commission found that, irrespective of their activity by the responsible bodies, the burial sites of

The results of this commission include the findings that in the years before 1938, despite great achievements, and after 1945, resistance fighters and Nazi victims were hardly taken into account.

A commission set up by City Councilor Andreas Mailath-Pokorny in June 2011 reviewed the grave dedications of the Vienna City Administration from 1934–1938.

It was found among other things

  • the almost exclusive dedications of graves by functionaries of the former Christian Social Party ,
  • the high proportion of dedications of grave sites by cultural workers whose work corresponded to the ideas and ideology of the regime at that time, and
  • the high proportion of high-ranking officers from the First World War who, from today's perspective, would have to be classified as war criminals.

One of the results of this commission was the implementation of its proposal to re-introduce the category “historical burial place”.

See also


  • Werner T. Bauer: Wiener Friedhofsführer. Exact description of all burial sites together with a history of the Viennese burial system . Falter Verlag, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-85439-335-0
  • Municipal Department 43 : Examination of the implementation of the decoration and maintenance of honorary graves and honorary graves. KA III - 43-1 / 03 . Business year 2003. Control Office of the City of Vienna, Vienna 2004. - Full text online (PDF; 42 kB) , accessed on March 21, 2012.
  • Robert S. Budig, Gertrude Enderle-Burcel, Peter Enderle: Vienna Central Cemetery. Honorary graves in the municipal cemetery . Compress-Verlag, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-900607-26-5 . (Editions 2002 and 2006 under the title Wiener Zentralfriedhof. Graves of Honor . Schmid, Vienna).

Web links

Commons : Graves of honor in Vienna  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. See: Magistratsabteilung 53: Wiener Zentralfriedhof: Honor where honor is due. (...) Occasionally: VIPs from politics, culture and science . In: , November 5, 2008, accessed on March 21, 2012.
  2. A single grave of honor, namely that of an officer of the German Air Force , was ever revoked (2003) and rededicated as a war grave (see web link
  3. As of the end of 2008.
  4. (see web link) noted for 2004: 350 honorary graves, 1187 other dedicated graves. Of the latter, 936 were looked after from public funds.
  6. p. 30.