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Burial sites – Grabstätten

    Die Grabstätte am Währinger Friedhof

    An der Aussenmauer 2 Gräber. Links das von Beethoven und auf der rechten Seite das wesentlich bescheidenere von Schubert. Es war sein Wunsch, neben Beethoven begraben zu werden, ganz geklappt hat es sichtlich nicht, der Respektabstand zwischen den beiden Gräbern ist nicht zu übersehen.

    Sei 1888 sind nun beide Komponisten am Zentralfriedhof begraben. Ohne Respektabstand und grosse Unterschiede in der Gestaltung der Gräber.

    Ein Fiaker mit Touristen auf seiner „Zentralfriedhofstour” ist das erste, was mir begegnet . Die Gräber der “Berühmten” muss ich nicht suchen, sie sind definitiv dort, wo die meisten Leute sind. Es dauert ein bisschen, bis all die “selfies” gemacht sind, aber dann ist es ruhig.
    Ein paar Blumen auf der Grabplatte Schubert’s als Dank für seine Musik.


    The original site where Schubert was buried.

    His wish was to be buried next to Beethoven which did not work out quite right as one can see. There is a certain distance between the two grave sites, which leaves room for second thoughts.
    Schubert’s gravesite was designed by friends; it looks very humble compared to Beethoven’s. The entire set up did not seem right to me. It was a bit sad and I left rather quickly.

    In 1888 both bodies were excavated and transferred to Zentralfriedhof where they were given a final place with dignity.

    “Yes, you can get in with your bicycle,” I am told at the gate to the Central Cemetery, which is, oddly enough, located in the suburbs of Vienna, far away from the center.
    Looking out for the burial sites of celebrities, I enter the cemetery at the main entrance. An alley with beautiful trees on each side leads to a building with a huge dome. A “Fiaker” approaches me and this picture (the cemetery, the dome and the fiaker) makes old Austrian folk songs come to my mind, songs in which death, the “fiaker” and Viennese “Gemuetlichkeit” form such a special symbiosis.
    And, of course, Schubert’s music crosses my mind as well, where death and beauty, melancholy and even despair go together so well in a miraculous way.
    After a while I see a sign on the edge of the road, reading “musicians” and a bit further away a busload of tourists wandering among headstones for Beethoven, Johann Strauss and the one I am looking for: Franz Schubert.
    Selfies have to be taken with one of the burial sites as a nice background. After a while Schubert has been freed from smiling visitors and it is all mine. For a while at least.
    Fresh flowers on the marble plate demonstrate the bond between music lovers and the composer and are a very beautiful and somehow touching gesture.

    Schubert’s gravesite is next to Beethoven’s and this time it does not breathe, “glad to be accepted,“ as the one did at the original burial site.
    The genius “Schubert” hides behind all that; one can only get a glimpse of it by listening to his music or even by only playing a simple song.

    Although all of you are so far away and won’t be able to visit these memorial sites in real life, these photos can take you on a virtual tour in Vienna.

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