Many visitors to the Austrian capital Vienna take a trip on the No.71 tram to the outskirts of the city to Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery). Opened in 1874 and one of the largest in the world with over 3 million interments, most people head directly to the area known as 'Composers Corner'. Final resting place of such musical giants as Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert and Brahms, you can't help but feel you are in the presence of genius as you stand among them. This cemetery is vast though and the largest part of a day passed by in a flash as I explored farther and farther from the main gates, losing all sense of time, caught up in the history surrounding me. Eventually I stumbled upon the Old Jewish Section (Alter Judischer Friedhof). Despite its dark history and roots in tragedy, this beautifully dense and somewhat overgrown place, with many markers on the stones well over a century old, was, for me, the most atmospheric and evocative part of Zentralfriedhof. Shrouded in a fine mist and low flickering sunlight on a cold December day, Vienna Zentralfriedhof in Winter took my breath away.
July 22nd, 2016
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