Visiting the cemetery of the Nameless
Don´t get me wrong…this is not going to be creepy…quite the opposite. A visit to makes us reflect about life and death, leading us to appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us and that sometimes we forget to be thankful for.
1st.November is the All Saints celebration in Austria; it is a public holiday and is mainly a Catholic Church commemoration. As well as yesterday was the major Halloween celebration around the world, today is a day of remembrance, to honor the memory of those who have already departed this world before us.
Families go together to the cemetery and decorate the graves of their beloved ones. Regarding this I have to mention that visiting an Austrian cemetery is a noteworthy experience. I´m not only referring to the most famous cemetery, the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) with the tombs of famous people, a magnificent and enormous park with old trees and where if you are lucky enough you can spot some curious Deer or Squirrel. I´m remitting to those smaller cemeteries around Vienna, there are several ones within its area, and to those you may find in every town in Austria. You will always find the graveyard with natural flowers and burning candles (real ones).
I invite you to visit with me the Friedhof der Namenlosen (Cemetery of the Nameless). It is a very, very old cemetery, where the bodies of people, found floating in the Danube River, were buried. The identity of the majority was never revealed. Even though they were unknown, they deserved a decent burial. This place is usually empty but on 1st.November many people come to pay tribute to those who perished and their mortal rests lays there. People bring flowers, candles and pray for the souls of the residents of the Friedhof der Namenlosen.
And if you are a romantic one or just grew up in the 90th (or both like me) you may have already visited this cemetery by the hand of Celine and Jesse in the movie Before Sunrise. I could write a lot about that movie but I leave that for another post. Many tourists come to visit this place because of the movie and although it seems to be in the center of Vienna it is quite outside, in the boundaries from Vienna and Schwechat, a port area (Albern Hafen) filled with silos and trucks coming and going during the week. But in any case, the peaceful atmosphere of this place is never disturbed.
Come with me, in silence and respect.
+to the faithful departed+