September 2, 2014
As many of you will be aware, here in Vienna we’ve had the kind of summer that makes umbrella vendors happy but everyone else miserable. Last week, though, there were two whole days of glorious sunshine, so I decided to seize the opportunity and go for a walk in the park, knowing that the lovely weather wouldn’t last (and, indeed, it didn’t).
Those who know me and/or have been following this blog for a while won’t be surprised to hear that when I say park I really mean cemetery. But as you can see in the photos, Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof [Central Cemetery] really is both and it has long been one of my favourite hangouts.
I dare say that by now I know the cemetery quite well, but it’s actually so large that I still discover new things on almost every visit. For instance, until last week, I’d never really noticed this particular tomb monument, sculpted by one Georg Burgstaller at the beginning of the 20th century:
To be honest, from today’s point of view this monument seems almost absurd, ridiculously Victorian in a way, by appearing to give a practical demonstration of the desired behaviour in a grieving widow. But while the sculpture itself seems terribly dated, I believe the nice art-nouveau lamp next to it holds up pretty well.
Another, perhaps even more fascinating sighting was this:
I knew, of course, that there was a considerable population of deer in the cemetery and on previous occasions I had sometimes caught a glimpse of deer from far away, but this was the first time I saw these fine creatures from such vicinity. I have to add, though, that the above photo was still taken with a zoom lens, so they weren’t actually quite as close as the picture may suggest. And soon enough they trotted off among the tombstones and the undergrowth…