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Funeral Museum (Bestattungsmuseum), Vienna

(35 reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
The Bestattungsmuseum Wien is a museum in Vienna, Austria. With around 1000 exhibits, the Vienna Funeral Museum gives a comprehensive overview of funeral customs, burial rites, funerary art and the special Viennese perspective on death and provides information on the historical and current funeral services in Vienna.History and descriptionWhen the Austro-Hungarian Empire was at its peak, people paid heavily to make sure they would be remembered. Their obsession of a "schöne Leiche" (a beautiful corpse) prompted them to save money to ensure their send off was as grand as possible. In Vienna in the 1900s more than eighty private funeral companies competed for the business of burying the city’s citizens in one of the 52 cemeteries in the suburban area.In 1951 the Bestattung Wien, or Undertaking Service of Vienna, was appointed as the only funeral company in the city. The museum was founded in 1967 and designed in 1987 by Wittigo Keller.Located in the 4th district at Goldeggasse 19, near the Belvedere, Vienna, it also houses the intriguing Vienna Undertakers' Museum, which contains more than 600 artifacts documenting the Viennese interest in death and burial.There are elaborate black uniforms and regalia worn by the pallbearers,from the French pompes funèbres, as well as hearses, wreaths, sashes, lanterns, torches, black flags, even an urn in the shape of a football and a “sitting coffin”.A real curiosity on display in the Bestattungsmuseum is the re-usable coffin instigated in 1784 by Emperor Joseph II, in an attempt to save wood and to hasten decomposition. The coffins were equipped with a trap underneath to drop the bodies in the graves and kept for another funeral. But the Viennese protests led to the cancellation of the law within six months. With court decree of 29 May 1825, it was decreed that every deceased had to be placed in a sealed coffin before being lowered into the ground.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We spent a good hour here. All the displays have excellent English translations. I loved the old films and the way in which the subject was tackled.  more »
  • Some weeks ago I went to Vienna to see the "Bestattungsmuseum" (funeral museum) which is located on Zentralfriedhof (central cemetery). You can go there by tram, bus or car. I prefer the tram. It take...  more »
  • The Funeral Museum is situated in one of the buildings close to the main gate (Tor 2) of Vienna's Central Cemetery, quite easy to find (they are probably trying to make sure nobody ends up in the fune...  more »
Google
  • After the modernization, the funeral Museum has lost something to charm. It is still interesting and an absolute must for people who like the morbidity.
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  • An advance: the Museum consists only of two rooms. Who wants to go through quickly, it has 15 minutes behind. So please not so disappointed. In particular, the main room of the exhibition is beautiful atmospheric otherwise. Almost eerily, the enigmatic sound effects underscore the mood of the subject (I was the only one in the room also during my visit in January 2017). After the visit of the Museum, a stroll across the central cemetery is recommended of course (this map don't forget if you certain honorary graves want to see on the site is really spread out).
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  • Morbid until to the end, even for one he grew up like me next to a coffin factory. Great Museum
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  • Great, modern museum to the central cemetery and generally the topic of funeral in Vienna. Well suited for tourists but also for real Wiener. Very nice staff, which like the one or other interesting and funny history can tell.
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  • Worth a visit! Very special.
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