Funeral Museum (Bestattungsmuseum), Vienna

4.1
#46 of 116 in Museums in Vienna
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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Funeral Museum (Bestattungsmuseum) Reviews
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54 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Close to the Central Cemetery Entrance No. 2 under the elevator hall an extraordinary museum on Viennese funeral culture and the "Pompfunebre." That is why the officil. Burifer in Vienna also called Pompfuneberer! This museum is likely to be quite unique!
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  • If you visit the Central Cemetery, it is worth a detour to the funeral museum. The museum itself is not large, but very interesting designed and gives great insights into the cults of the dead and customs in Austria.
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Google
  • Extremely interesting small museum about Austrian tradition of funerals.
  • The person at the desk was very rude
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