While I would not consider myself a taphophile, wandering even the district cemeteries in Vienna is not unlike exploring an outdoor art or sculpture museum. The Viennese love life and they also love death, which they consider to be the, “other side of life,” and their cemeteries reflect this passion.

Some of the oldest markers are faded and overgrown, but still tended.

Other markers are elegant in their simplicity.

Elegant, perhaps, but not simple.

A couple of markers I spotted were rather unique.

This one had a small solar panel, to power the lights trimming the roof.

Döblinger Friedhof is a little different from the other district cemeteries in that it is open to persons of all faiths. There is a Jewish section as well as a section for Muslim soldiers of the former imperial army. Now the departed simply ☾OE✡️IS✟.

There is also a Nun’s Cemetery within the grounds.

Like death, the only other certainty is taxes. Or in this case, rental payments.

Unlike U.S. cemeteries with perpetual care, the Viennese lease their grave sites; some have contracts as short as 10 years or as long as 60, from what I could learn. This reuse of graves is relatively common in Europe. Regardless of the term, however, the renewal by a living family member must be timely. Failure to renew means at first a gentle reminder from the city.

The second warning results in the grave being marked with a red “X.”

And finally, after some amount of lapsed time, room is eventually made for new occupants.

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