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Visiting Cemeteries in Munich
Sarah N Walker
Photos - Visiting Cemeteries in Munich: A selection of photos from walks through Munich's East Cemetery and others.
In the spring of 2002 I was wandering around Munich with a friend of mine from England when we came upon a giant, ivy-covered wall in the middle of the city. As we suspected, it was a graveyard, and a beautiful one at that. We were quite lucky to have stumbled upon it in May, when the flowers were in full bloom, and were happy to get a glimpse of a morbid, yet beautiful record of Munich's history.
Munich doesn't have one single central cemetery, but rather 29, ranging from quite small to quite large. Nine of these cemeteries are designated as 'large' cemeteries by the organization that manages them. Many of these were created in the 19th century by architect Hans Grässel to compensate for the city's rapid population growth. The following is not a comprehensive list, but rather a selection of those I have visited. If you are really interested in locating the resting places of important figures, you will need to buy a book advertised at the entrance of many cemeteries. The title has the word 'Heimat' in it, but that is all I can remember. It was recently updated and the newer version is supposedly available at some bookshops. Check the adverts for more information.
Note: Bikes and dogs are not allowed in the cemeteries. I have seen many people break the former rule, but never the latter.
Alter Südlicher Friedhof
Just south of Sendlinger Tor, along Thalkirchenerstr., Pestalozzistr., and Kapuzinerstr.
Oct-Feb 8-17, Mar-Sept 8-18, Apr-Aug 8-19.
Israelicher Friedhof (Thalkirchen)
Corners of Thalkirchener Str./Dietramszeller Str/Bleyer Str.
Take the U6 to Harras and get out on the side closest to Partnachplatz and the S-Bahn connection. Right outside of the exit towards Harras. There are also several buses that serve Harras.
This cemetery can be accessed on Fürstenrieder str. by the 41/65 buses, stop Waldfriedhof Haupteingang or Waldfriedhof. Another possibility is to walk about 10 minutes from the U6 stop Holzapfelkreuth.. To enter the cemetery from the main entrance at Lorettoplatz, take the 62 bus to Lorettoplatz or park in the parking lot there. To visit the soldier cemetery, take the 34 bus to Ehrenmal. (Tischlerstrasse). To go to Leni Riefenstahl's grave and the Italian WWII cemetery, park on Tischlerstr. (or take the bus) and stay to the right after entering. Leni's grave is just beyond the juncture of sections 505/506/509 and just before the vast Cimitero Italiano.
This is a massive complex in a very green location near the city limits to the west. It is not far from my house and I used to get chills down my spine when driving past it at night on my scooter because I could feel the temperature drop about 10 degrees Fahrenheit once crossing Fürstenrieder on Waldfriedhof Str. This is properly deemed a 'Wald' or forest. There are plenty of trees and shade and plenty of graves! This cemetery is divided into two parts: the old and the new Waldfriedhof. Supposedly, you can admire the resting places of local artist, scientists, and actors, as well as anonymous persons and war casualties. There is even a large, section in the far southern part dedicated to Italian war casualties. The only local personality I have come across is Leni Riefenstahl, located in section 505. Across the road on Tischlerstr. Is a lovely memorial and cemetery for WWI and WWII casualties. During May, the grass is littered with forget-me-nots, dandelions and daisies, making it a peaceful place to visit.. If you visit in the warm months, you can visit the Waldheim beer garden accessible through the cemetery (follow the sign from Loretto Platz) and from the west end of Tischlerstr.
Oct-Feb 8-17, Mar-Sept 8-18, Apr-Aug 8-19
Alter Nördlicher Friedhof
No opening times published, according to one website, it is always open.
Take the U6 to Nordfriedhof. The cemetery is bordered on the west by Ungerer Str (the street radiating NE out of Leopold Str.) and by the upper reaches of the Englischer Garten.
Sarah Walker Photo Essays: Photo essays on Munich, Berlin, rural Germany, Bavaria, Austria, Vancouver, New York City.
© Sarah N Walker, 2004
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