Ludwig van Beethoven had the dubious pleasure of three burials. He died on the 26th of March, 1827 in Vienna and was buried a couple of days later in the Währinger Ortsfriedhof (a cemetery in one of Vienna’s outlying districts).
Then in 1863 the authorities decided to repair his burial site. They exhumed the body and put it in a new and better metal coffin before burying him again.
Unfortunately, the cemetery shut in 1873, eventually converting to a park in the mid-1920s. In the meantime, it was decided to move Beethoven’s remains to a better site.
So in 1888, he was dug up again and reburied in one of the honorary graves at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna’s main cemetery. Third time lucky, one might say, as he’s been left to rest there since. Schubert suffered the same fate, but at least both fared better than Mozart.
How to find Beethoven’s grave
His gravestone is a copy of the original from the first cemetery. Written on it are the following words (in German of course)…
This gravestone was built to the same design as the original in the Währinger Ortsfriedhof and erected by the Association of Friends of Music in 1888 with financial help from the Imperial City Development Fund of Vienna and the Philharmonic Association
The Zentralfriedhof is a huge site, but Beethoven’s grave resides among a cluster of famous composers in one of the areas reserved for honoured “guests.” On cemetery maps, it’s marked as Grave No.29 in Group 32a.
You can find it very easily if you enter the cemetery through the second (i.e. main) entrance which is called Tor 2. Go straight ahead through the middle of the stone arcade, heading towards the large church. Just keep your eyes open to the left to spot the grave.
Address: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110 Vienna (for directions, see the main cemetery article.)