Even a character larger than life cannot keep the inevitable at bay forever.
On February 6, 1918, Gustav Klimt died in hospital from pneumonia, having already suffered a stroke the previous month at his home at Westbahnstrasse 36. He was 55.
Three days later, Klimt was buried at the Friedhof Hietzing cemetery (Maxingstraße 15, 1130 Vienna) with the composer, Arnold Schoenberg, and the designer, Josef Hoffmann, among those present. The grave number is 194/195 in Group 5.
Friedhof Hietzing is a lovely, carefully-maintained cemetery edging the southwest corner of the Schönbrunn Palace grounds (see the Klimt location map at the bottom of the page).
How to find Klimt’s grave
It’s a 15-minute walk up to the cemetery from Hietzing station on the U4 subway line. The buses 56A, 56B or 58A also run alongside (get off at the “Tiroler Gasse” stop).
Go in through the gate marked Tor 3, which is at the northeast end of the cemetery. It should be open during the day. If you want to be sure, check the “Öffnungszeiten” at the cemetery service’s website (in German).
Ahead of you is a stone path leading up to some steps. Walk up the path and about halfway to the steps, turn left to go on down past a crypt/chapel on the right.
Keep going until you reach a crossroads and a sign saying “Gruppe 5”. Turn right here up toward some more steps. On reaching them, don’t go up, but turn left. Some 15 paces further, on the right, is Klimt’s grave, marked by a small birch tree hanging gracefully over it.
The grave itself is very understated, in contrast to Klimt’s life – just a square stone slab with his name on it. It’s markedly different to the imposing columns of Otto Wagner’s grave just a few steps away.