A small square slab, a name, and a hanging birch tree mark the last resting place of one of the world’s greatest artists. Klimt’s grave is a simple affair in Vienna’s Hietzing cemetery.
- Cemetery runs alongside the Schönbrunn Palace park
- Public access during normal opening hours
- Look for grave 194/195 in Grp 5
- Close to Otto Wagner’s grave
- See also:
Klimt’s death and burial
(The gravestone in the Friedhof Hietzing cemetery)
Even a character larger than life cannot keep the inevitable at bay forever.
At 6am on February 6th, 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.
Where is Klimt buried?
They buried Klimt three days after his death on February 9th in the Friedhof Hietzing following a 1.30pm service in the cemetery chapel.
Ensemble members from the Hofoper (now the State Opera House) sang at the burial, including a rendition of Schubert’s Litany for the Feast of All Souls. Arnold Schoenberg and Josef Hoffmann were among those present that day.
A report in the Fremden Blatt daily newspaper noted (my rough translation):
Gustav Klimt was buried yesterday next to his mother in the Hietzing Cemetery. It was a very moving funeral service put on by friends and admirers of the artist. Hundreds and hundreds of people accompanied Klimt on his final journey and many lined the Maxingstraße as the funeral cortege passed by…
(A 1918 drawing by Egon Schiele of Gustav Klimt at the end of his life; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 243485; excerpt reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
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). The grave number is 194/195 in Group 5.
The understated gravestone offers a contrast to Klimt’s gargantuan life and artistic style. The plain, smallish, square slab just bears his name. The approach is markedly different to the imposing columns of Otto Wagner’s grave just a few steps away.
Other famous cemetery residents include the architect Hans Hollein, the writer Franz Grillparzer and members of the Strauss family: Henriette (Johann Strauss II’s first wife), Theresia and Anna (both his sisters).
How to find Klimt’s grave
You have a 15-minute walk up to the cemetery from Hietzing station (U4 subway line) to reach the grave. Or take a bus; the 56A, 56B and 58A lines run alongside the grounds (get off at the Tiroler Gasse stop).
Go in through the gate marked Tor 3, which is at the northeast end of the cemetery. This entrance should be open during the day. If you want to be sure, check the cemetery’s official website (in German – look for Öffnungszeiten).
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.
Address: Maxingstraße 15, 1130 Vienna