Sunday, 3 November 2013

Example of a Double Crossed Grave

Be not alarmed! Ghostly image in gravestone is my reflection.

 A million people will visit Vienna's graveyards this autumn. Some of these visitors will find two crosses on the graves of their nearest and dearest. 

In addition to the cross they expected to find they will find a  red cross.  This means they are behind with the rent. If it's not paid soon the stone will either be removed and sold or broken up. 

The plot will then be cleared of debris, the grave will be emptied of it's contents; bones, urns, or whatever. 

It will then be rented out once more and become the resting place for another temporary occupant. Only the well-heeled can afford to rest in peace for eternity.

In the post below is a poem about this almost surreal aspect of the Viennese death industry. 


  1. Certainly a grave situation. I seem to think it's common practice in some European countries to routinely dig up the long-buried and stick the bones in charnel houses.

    The catacombs of Paris are stacked high with ornately arranged skeletal remains.

    Nevertheless - renting a grave? It certainly grates with one's sensibilities if one is used to the idea of permanent tenure.

  2. Have read the poem below Gwil - something I don't like about this, it all sounds too materialistic for this. I seem to think I paid £50 for my first husband's grave and that included a place for me too if I wished. Much more civilised.

  3. Dominic,
    I much prefer the idea of someone tossing my ashes
    from the top of Cader Idris into the wild Welsh wind.

    It's terrible the ways they think of to make money. Take the graveyard slot machines, on which is written large "it's for charity", like the one I photographed with the at the cemetery gates . It's a charge of 1 euro for a small candle and they donate the grand sum of 3 cents per candle. i.e. keeping 97 cents out of every 100 cents for their enterprise.


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