Outside of the graveyard walls there are two marble plates with gilded inscriptions, listing the names of those unfortunate citizens fallen in the two big wars of the last century. Heroes they are called, fallen in defense of their country. Which is mostly wrong.
Their lives were wasted for the ambitions of Austria’s nobility and, later, following the insane ideas of an Austrian monster.
Fallen in Stalingrad? Ukraine? Poland? At the Atlantic? Never mind, defense of our country it was. Not.
The Song of the Day is “The Wasted” by Graveyard Johnnys. Hear it on YouTube.
Here’s one more image from Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof, showing the grave of the industrialist Marcus Engel (1825 – 1909), a rich man, now long forgotten. He was glad to have been spared the end of his world.
The Song of the Day is “Dead To The World” from Patti Smith’ 1996 album “Gone Again”. Hear it on YouTube.
Here are some more images taken at Vienna’s Jewish cemetery, this time in color.
The day began with low fog, but by the time I had arrived at the cemetery gates, the fog had risen and I couldn’t make those graves-in-the-fog images, that I had come to take in the first place.
Nevertheless, there was dense fog between me and the sun, just not low enough to be photographically useful. Thus the light was low and colors were washed out.
One of the improvements in Lightroom 5.3 is, that they deliver camera profiles for Olympus cameras. These images use the camera profile “Vivid” (and then some additional vibrancy), thus they look less dull than it was. To my eyes the result is pretty believable.
The Song of the Day is again “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” from the Los Super Seven album “Heard It on the X”. Hear it on YouTube.
Vienna once had a big Jewish community. There are records of Jewish presence here from the 12th century.
Not that Austria treated its Jews particularly well throughout the centuries, but it was not worse than elsewhere, and Vienna was the center of an empire that once spanned the globe. For a few years at least 🙂
The nineteenth century was a time of assimilation and of Jewish expansion. Jews from Austria’s eastern provinces came to Vienna, those already here mostly tried to shed their Jewish identity. Judaism didn’t play that much of a role, participation in the society was the goal and many Jews even converted to Catholicism. People of Jewish origins became respected citizens, many even rose to the ranks of gentry.
Then came the catastrophe of the nationalist movement, culminating in the insanity of Nazi ideology. Suddenly people were determined by the believes of their grandparents. The Nazis invented an illogical pseudo-scientific race theory that essentially disrupted the effects of assimilation, and that forced the luckiest of their victims into exile, while the millions, who tried to flee too late or who did not have the means to buy their way into freedom, ended up in the horrible furnaces of Auschwitz.
These images were taken in the vast Jewish part of Vienna’s major cemetery “Zentralfriedhof”. There are thousands of graves of forgotten people. People whose children were murdered and buried in foreign soil, people whose children left and never dared to come back to the graves of their ancestors. It’s a sad place.
The Song of the Day is “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” from the Los Super Seven album “Heard It on the X”. Hear it on YouTube.
I know, I promised more images from Italy and I’ve already processed and uploaded them. I will post them as soon as I’m in need for an image again, but for yesterday and for today at least I have images that I sufficiently like.
This is the cemetery of Meidling, a district in the south-west of Vienna. I had an appointment in the vicinity, and instead of taking the Underground straight home, I decided to catch some late light on the graves. The moon was definitely a bonus 🙂
The Song of the Day is “White Moon” from the 2005 White Stripes album “Get Behind Me Satan”. A great match if you ask me, but hear for yourself on YouTube.
The seventh and last post for today. Well, technically it’s already well past midnight, but what counts, is that I have caught up and it feels pretty good!
Hmm … a week of posting in one day, that is a first and probably a tad insane 🙂
This is the post for today, and because I did not do much more today than working on the blog and processing images, I’ll give you three more pictures from Sunday, June 20.
These images were taken in Lorsica, a small hamlet in the Ligurian mountains, famous for its production of the finest damask. A few houses, a church, and below the road, under the street, the terraces of the graveyard. Well, I guess when you’re dead, you don’t particularly care where you rest, but anyway, what a place!
The Song of the Day is “Up In the Graveyard” from the 1994 Walkabouts album “Setting the Woods on Fire”. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, thus I have uploaded it myself.
I’m on the train to Carinthia and this is the image for Wednesday. January 6 is a public holiday in Austria and I used the day for a trip to Stadlau, a part of Vienna where our company is supposed to move in about three years. This is the local cemetery, photographed though the gates.
The Song of the Day is “Cemetery Gates” from the 1986 Smiths album “The Queen Is Dead”. Great music, hear it on YouTube.
After the vivid spring colors of the last days, let’s get a little more muted, shall we? I have been on St. Marx Cemetery today. It was a gray, windy day, with only traces of sunshine very late in the afternoon. This cemetery is out of use since 1874, but it is open to the public and it boasts the grave of none lesser than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In reality, only 17 years after his death nobody knew where he was buried any more, and I guess the place marked today is as authentic as the average Saint’s relic, but as with Saints, this has never stopped people believing.
I was rather late, only three quarters of an hour before closing time at 5pm, thus I didn’t even bother looking for Mozart. I was looking for the angels.
Angels? Yes, angels. Statues of angels are very common on old graves in Vienna. Of course they get much photographed and therefore this image is hardly original, but actually I don’t care. If I did, I would have to stop photographing in Vienna at all, and not only in Vienna, actually in every place where people photograph, which probably comprises 150% of the beautiful places in this world 🙂
The Song of the Day is the “Recordare” from Mozart’s “Requiem”. Of the six or seven versions that I have, I have chosen Jordi Savall and his orchestra “Le Concert des Nations”, but I guess this does not matter as much as it matters with baroque or earlier music. On YouTube you may hear (among others) the Symphony Orchestra of Ljubljana under Vladislav Tchernushenko, and they do it quite as well.
Yesterday I made a short trip to Vienna’s biggest graveyard, Zentralfriedhof in the district of Simmering. Before the Nazi barbarism Vienna had quite some Jewish population, and so it is not surprising that the Jewish part of the cemetery is vast. When I was there for the first time, about 15 years ago, it was completely overgrown, basically a forest, but since then much has changed. From a merely aesthetic point of view it was more beautiful then, but even now it is a tranquil place of peace.
Graveyards and B&W, that may be more or less a cliché, but I simply could not resist. I have tried it both ways, and B&W won by far.
The Song of the Day is “And When I Die” from the self-titled second Blood, Sweat & Tears album. See a video on YouTube.
Another round number, but one gets used to it 🙂
Today I had a lot of work to do and no time to take images. Only in the evening I could go out and the idea was, to take some images of the local church. HDR and very wide angle, preferably.
It was rubbish. But, interestingly enough, when I fooled around with hand-held images made in non-hand-holdable situations, I found this one: Sigma 10-20 at 17mm, f8, ISO 100 and 7.1s. Yes, seconds.
The Song of the Day is “Oh, How The Ghost Sings” from Lester Bowie’s classic album “The Great Pretender“. I’ll never forget the evening when I first heard the title song in one of Vienna’s leading Jazz cafés, “Miles Smiles”.