The longest outdoor gallery in Vienna

Vienna Central Cemetery
A large photo exhibition, created as part of the project "Biodiversity in the Cemetery", is now on display at the Vienna Central Cemetery.

About the exhibition

Animals at the Vienna Central Cemetery

Vienna Central Cemetery now offers a new attraction: Peter Hanke, City Councillor for Finance, Economy, and Vienna Municipal Utilities, along with Renate Niklas, the Managing Director of Friedhöfe Wien GmbH, opened the longest outdoor gallery in Vienna. It shows animal photographs that were created as part of the research project "Biodiversity at the Cemetery".

The research project was initiated more than two years ago by the University of Vienna in collaboration with Friedhöfe Wien GmbH. Over time, extensive data on animals, plants, and fungi were collected, and fascinating photographs were produced. The exhibition of these images now makes the diverse wildlife on the city's cemeteries visible to all visitors of Vienna Central Cemetery.

Importance of cemeteries for city's climate

Animals at the Vienna Central Cemetery

"The area of the 46 municipal cemeteries constitutes about 1.2% of the entire city's area. This is roughly equivalent to the size of the 20th district of Vienna. The design of these areas has a significant impact on the city's climate and also serves as an important habitat. We are proud to protect the areas of the 46 municipal cemeteries and the animals that inhabit them to the best of our ability. Vienna's longest outdoor gallery shows in pictures the extent of biodiversity on Vienna's cemeteries," emphasized Hanke.

Renate Niklas expressed her gratitude for the excellent collaboration with the University of Vienna and project leader Thomas Filek: "The interim results underscore the importance of detailed design even in these spaces. People who have a grave on our cemeteries, plant and maintain it with greenery, make a significant contribution to flora and fauna, as well as the city's climate."

Sustainability measures have been derived from the research results, such as the creation of deadwood corners for insects and small animals. The gallery itself is also sustainable: The scaffolding was crafted from local larch wood anchored in the ground with earth spikes.

Excursion with an educational mission

Animals at the Vienna Central Cemetery

The images displayed in the gallery highlight the growing importance of protected habitats and retreats for animals in an increasingly urbanized environment. All people – Viennese residents, families, school and kindergarten groups, as well as tourists – can visit the gallery until approximately mid-2024. Admission is free.

The longest outdoor gallery in Vienna begins at the entrance to Gate 2 at Vienna Central Cemetery. It leads along two green strips to the Cemetery Church of Saint Karl Borromäus.

The cooling potential of cemeteries

The gallery as a destination for excursions emphasizes that cemeteries are more than just burial sites. Their design has a significant impact on the environment, from reducing tropical nights to the potential for rainwater infiltration. Recently, the results of an AIT study on the cooling potential of cemeteries were published. More information is available HERE.