02 August 2010

Zentral Friedhof

We have wanted to see the big cemetary in Vienna for a long time, so we decided to take mom over to visit it. There is a big church in the middle of the cemetary with a beautiful brightly lit inside. We didn't take many pictures inside, but as you can see, Elora really liked seeing the church. Oliver enjoyed sitting on the benches and playing with things he probably shouldn't...

Here I am trying to show him the ceiling so he would stop being loud... it worked for a minute or two, and then we went outside.

Here we are in front of the big church.

Chris took a picture of Elora by this grave because we recognized the name from a street we often travel past on the train. We figured it was someone important, so I looked it up when we got home. Julius Raab was a political figure in Austria who was the Federal Chancellor of Austria who helped negotiate the Austrian State Treaty in 1955 which re-established Austria as an independant democratic state after WWII.

We love cemetaries, which I guess is kind of strange, but the ones in Europe have such beautiful sculptures and gravestones.

There is a section of the cemetary where many famous composers are buried, so we headed over to see it. Elora really loved the cemetary and wanted to make sure all the flowers and items people had left were arranged neatly, so she spent a lot of time picking up flower pots that had tipped over, and rearranging flowers that had blown away from the graves in the wind. That is why she is in very few pics, she could not take time away from this important task. She didn't even want to leave the cemetary, she said she wanted to "clean up all the graves". It is nice that she understood it is important to people to have the cemetary look nice.

I'm not really sure Oliver understood why we kept posing next to all the statues, but he was very interested in looking at them all.

Here is mom looking really excited about Schubert.

Elora fixing more flowers...

This is a monument to Mozart, although he is not actually buried here. He was buried in a mass grave in Vienna (I read this was actually quite common in Vienna at the time), and this monument was later built in his honor.

I took some pictures of my favorite statues that we saw while wandering around. The cemetary is huge and I don't think we even saw a quarter of it.

Here is Daddy helping Oliver pet a bumble bee. Not really sure why that was a good idea, but Oliver thought it was great.

And here is Oliver crawling around in the cemetary. He liked climbing on everything, which seems a little inappropriate, but I decided a happy Oliver was more important than propriety...

Here is the Russian section of the cemetary, which is entirely segregated from the rest of the cemetary. There were some monuments, but all the gravestones look the same. The Russians occupied Austria for awhile after WWII.

Another pretty statue.

The Mormon church has recently become an officially recognized religion by the government in Austria, and has been allowed to have its own section in the cemetary. We set off in search of it since no one who worked there could tell us where it was... and eventually called a friend to get directions. It is right behind the big church in the middle of the cemetary (right where we started) and it only took us an hour and a half to find it. Here is Oliver checking out the statue. He and Elora loved the statue and kept trying to hold hands with Jesus and the little child. Very cute.

I am glad we could finally come over here, it is a beautiful place to walk around.

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