Many years ago people were permitted to hunt deer and hares in the 2.5 km² space of Vienna’s Central Cemetery. Today the animals have reclaimed their habitat and it has been a long time since anyone came hunting here.
So these days, in the place where presidents, citizens, writers and composers have their final resting place, you might also encounter wild animals from time to time. This offers would-be paparazzi the perfect opportunity to take the ultimate snap of Vienna’s celebrities. A photo of Beethoven, Strauss or Falco – or at least of their graves – is not all you can see here. Anyone with a little patience may also end up with the Central Cemetery’s “big five” in their viewfinder: deer, hare, fox, hamster and hedgehog. With a sharp eye, the right timing and a bit of luck, a spookily delightful safari here will bring you face-to-face with these refreshingly alive wild inhabitants of the cemetery, offering some unique photo-opportunities even for less experienced wildlife-watchers and cellphone photographers.
The tour passes through the old Jewish cemetery: here there are no meticulously tended graves or colorful flower arrangements. Instead there are thickly overgrown gravestones, weathered monuments and dense undergrowth, offering the perfect habitat for wild animals. Nowhere else do the afterlife and (nature’s) paradise come so close to one another.