St. Marx Cemetery
The gravestone of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
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St. Marx Cemetery (Sankt Marxer Friedhof) is a cemetery in the Landstraße district of Vienna, used from 1784 until 1874. It contains the unmarked burial of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The cemetery was named after a nearby almshouse whose chapel had been consecrated to St Mark. It opened in 1784 following a decree by Emperor Joseph II that forbade further burials in cemeteries within the outer walls of the city of Vienna. He also ordered that bodies should be buried in unmarked graves, without coffins or embalming. This regulation however never went into effect in Vienna, because the government of the city denied its approval owing to the fact that the populace did not want to be reminded of the mass graves of plague times. There were no mass graves in late 18th-century Vienna.
Thus the common assumption that Mozart's grave was unmarked because he was too poor is false. His burial in 1791 after a funeral in the Stephansdom simply followed the regulations of the day.
It includes the graves of
- Anna Gottlieb
- Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
- Josef Strauss
- Anton Diabelli
- Count Philipp von Cobenzl
- Georg Donner
- Alexander Ypsilanti
- Franz Pfeiffer
- Franz Xaver Süssmayr
- Baron Ernst von Feuchtersleben
- Louis Montoyer
- Josef Madersperger
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Elias Parish Alvars
The most famous person to be buried in the St. Marx Cemetery is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Later attempts to locate his mass grave all failed, including a search by his widow, 17 years after Mozart's death, and by Vincent Novello in 1829. In 1855 a gravestone was erected at what was presumed to be the correct spot. Later the stone was transferred to a group of famous musician graves at Zentralfriedhof. At St. Marx Cemetery, a worker replaced the gravestone with a memorial tablet, which was again expanded by several contributors. The memorial known today was refurbished by Viennese sculptor Florian Josephu-Drouot in 1950.
Over the years, the rest of the cemetery decayed. In the 20th century it was restored, put under historic preservation status, and opened to the public in 1937.
- Michael Lorenz: Mozart and the Myth of Reusable Coffins, Vienna 2013
- Der Wiener Friedhof von St. Marx
- The St. Marx Cemetery is being restored (in German)
- How to get there (Vienna govt. site in German)
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