What looks like countless numbers of branches endlessly intermingling with each other is actually something more. There are things hidden beneath these bushes. Whatever it is, Mother Nature took it. This is how a big portion of the graves are looking today in St Marx Cemetery.
Seeing this, gently reminded me that there is nothing eternal but the time itself. Memento Mori. With time the tombstones, without anybody to remember them, might look not much more than mere rocks. Despite the shape of St Marx Cemetery, this is the resting place of many, the garden of the dead.
St Marx Cemetery is a historical burial ground found in Landstraße, the 3rd district of Vienna. It was in service between 1784 and 1874, thus the current shape of it shouldn’t be a surprise. St Marx Cemetery is most famous for being the original resting location of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. To this day people come here to visit and pay their respect to the Austrian genius composer.
Because there is no original tombstone remaining from his funeral, there is a popular belief between people that Mozart was buried in a mass grave. That is not true. There were no mass graves in the late 18th century.
Emperor Joseph II forbade the further burials within the outer walls of Vienna and ordered bodies to be buried unmarked and without coffins. Despite that, the government of Vienna never followed this regulation. They were afraid that the mass burials would remind the population of the times of plague. Mozart was buried unmarked in this location but such was the standard of those days.
Except for Mozart, I couldn’t find anybody I know buried in this cemetery but it doesn’t mean there is nothing else to see. The map with the list of famous people could be found at the entrance to St Marx Cemetery.
Visiting St Marx Cemetary without a guide might be a bit tough to navigate yourself around. There is a map of graves at the entrance of the Cemetary but except a small informational stand near Mozart grave, there is not much information. So if you want a deeper insight into St Marx Cemetary, I highly recommend getting a guide.
It might look like St Marx Cemetery is not that far from the Innere Stadt but it is not recommended to trying to reach it on foot. The cemetery is located between the 3rd and 11th districts of Vienna, Landstrasse, and Simmering respectively. It is not as far as the Central Cemetery, which is located almost on the outer edge of Vienna. Nevertheless, you’ll have to get there somehow. I highly recommend using public transport. It is really well developed and not that expensive in Vienna so don’t be afraid to use it. You’ll be in St Marx Cemetery in no time.
If required, Uber and Bolt are operating in the city.
TRAIN S7 – Like anywhere else, trains are the fastest way to get around the city. Unfortunately, there is no metro going through the area but the S7 express train between Floridsdorf and Vienna International Airport will do the work. The walking distance from Vienna Bio Center St.Marx train stop to the cemetery is virtually the same as for trams or buses. So if you find yourself close to any of S7 train stops, it is scheduled every 30minutes.
TRAM 71 – The route goes from Wien Börse, through Schottentor and Innere Stadt to Simmering. This tram can also take you to the Central Cemetery, where the original Mozart tombstone, together with monuments dedicated to other famous composers, can be visited. It is convenient if you reside in either Alsergrund, Innere Stadt, or Landstraße.
TRAM 18 – The route goes from Burgasse-Stadthalle, through Westbanhof, around 6th, 5th and 4th districts to Landstraße. It is convenient if you reside in either 15th, 7th, 6th, 5th, or 4th districts of Vienna. Though it Is not very likely because these areas don’t have that many hotels.
BUS 74A – the bus circles around St Marx Cemetery but the stop to get out is at the same spot as tram or train. You have to get out of the bus at Wien St. Marx. 74A bus route starts from Wien Stubentor U stop, next to Stadt park between 1st and 3rd districts of Vienna, and can be caught across Landstraße.
The following information comes the only informational board in the cemetery near Mozart’s grave location:
When Mozart was buried in 1791 the graves in the St Marx Cemetery were mainly shaft graves in the form of simple burial mounds with an occasional wooden cross. Therefore, even a short time later, it was difficult to determine Mozart’s exact burial place.
After extensive research, the decision was taken in 1859 to build a representative tomb at this location. That tomb was moved to the Vienna Central Cemetery in 1891 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Mozart’s death. On the initiative of cemetery attendant Alexander Kugler, this tomb was constructed in this place. It has been largely unaltered and can still be found here today in the St Marx cemetery.
Well, in case you are reading on the actual informational board, you are right next to “this tomb”, so no need to tell it.
I don’t think there are the right words to abstract the aura that St Marx Cemetery gives. I believe photography will do a way better work describing the location.
It was one of those experiences once reality and expectations don’t meet each other. Yes, in terms of artisanship the cemetery is not as impressive as one could expect but it doesn’t really matter. The essence of St Marx Cemetery is its symbiosis with nature.
Walking around St Marx Cemetery gives a truly calming sense of peace. It didn’t take long until my thoughts drifted away thinking about the longevity of things.
Only two hundred years and these graves are on its way to ‘from dust to dust’. This location is literally becoming one with the earth, leaving little to no trace of your existence. Just a rusty stone and a blossoming olive, right next to the resting place. In the end, Mother Nature takes it all. One can’t escape it, even in death. St Marx Cemetery is truly the garden of the dead.