In a nutshell – expect this here.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was buried in a common grave in Vienna, in 1971. Joseph Rothenmeyer was the gravedigger in charge of the burial and, ultimately, the only person who knew the exact location of the grave. This could be rather standard if it wasn’t for the fact that Mozart’s body was lost.
Where can you find this place?
The full story of gravedigger Joseph Rothenmeyer
Although possibly this is a name you have never heard of before, this is a name with certain relevance to the story of one of the World’s most beloved geniuses.
On 5th December 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ( possibly you have heard of this one) died at his home in Vienna. He was only 35 years old.
Mozart was buried on the 7th December in a common grave, as it was the custom of the time, at the St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna, and here the story begins.
What do Rothenmeyer and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have in common?
Common graves during those times referred to those belonging to citizens and not aristocrats (Mozart was not an aristocrat, however a relevant personality, due to this fact he was buried following the customs of the time, the false theory that he was buried in a common grave because he was poor and sick when he died was extended, although, not true…) The city had the right to dig common graves after ten years of burial. And due to this policy, Mozart’s body was lost … forever.
Currently, the Mozart column (in the picture) indicates the approximate location of the grave.
But who was this Joseph guy? Let’s find out.
Joseph Rothenmeyer was Mozart gravedigger and funny enough the only person who knew the exact location of the musical genius body, but who took his knowledge with him.
His grave is located just a few meters away from where Mozart’s grave is believed to have been, although, to this date (and in spite of many attempts), nobody has ever managed to find it.
It took me a while to find it when I visited the cemetery, but it was a great feeling to finally do so. History right on your face with names and facts. Additionally, the snow in the place made the experience … magical.
More Mozart Graves at St. Marx cemetery
Originally, there was another monument for Mozart other than the Mozart Column. In 1859 a memorial stone designed by Hanns Gasser was placed at the St. Marx cemetery, however (and to make things more complicated) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mozart’s death, this stone was moved to the ZentralFriedhof to join his fellow musicians (Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert among others).
St. Marx cemetery is nowadays a park, a very beautiful spot by itself worth a visit, and although one of the most famous Austrians of all times is buried there, not very commonplace to visit since it is located between highways in an industrial area.
Forage for further odd places in Vienna
|Who was Joseph Rothenmeyer?|
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was buried in a common grave in Vienna, in 1971. Joseph Rothenmeyer was the gravedigger in charge of the burial and ultimately, the only person who knew the exact location of the grave and could have been of help to find Mozart's lost body.
Find the lost place of the gravedigger in this article
Leberstraße 6 Wien, Austria
|Playing Backgammon with a cow|
Find rather curious medieval fresco from approximately 1509 depicting a cow playing backgammon with a Wolf in a house in the center of Vienna.
Click the image to find out more.
Bäckerstraße 12 Wien, Austria
|The empty pyramid of Archduchess Maria Christina|
Why was Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, different from her siblings? Why was she allowed to have a cenotaph to her memory in the parish church of the Habsburgs? What is inside?
Find the answer!
Augustinerstraße 3 Wien, Austria
|A Bunch of Keys On The Floor|
In 2008, a Memorial with 462 keys was unveiled in Servitengasse, Vienna. Who are the owners of those keys? And Why are they on the floor? Find the answer here.
Servitengasse 11 Wien, Austria
|The most glamorous toilet|
In Vienna, lavatories are worth visiting for many other reasons than the obvious one. In the center of the city you will find this one. What it makes so special can be read here.
Graben 22 Wien, Austria
|The lost Boulevard theater|
Find out the incredible story of the 1893 Boulevard Theater and what it looks like now. This story will surprise you!
Annagasse 3 Wien, Austria
|The Last Statues of the Imperial Family|
Find out where the last statutes of Franz Joseph and Sissi are located in Vienna. We give you some hints here.
Goethegasse 3 Wien, Austria
|Da Vinci in Vienna|
An exact replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper is hidden in Vienna's First District, let's find out where exactly and how it got there.
Minoritenplatz 2A, 1010 Wien, Austria
|A Masonic Stone Above My Head|
Find the very symbolic door to the Grand Lodge of Austria of the Freemasons. Here some details
Rauhensteingasse 3 Wien, Austria
|Antisemitism at the Jewish Square|
Find the story of an antisemitic inscription right in the middle of Judenplatz, an area of Vienna especially dedicated to the Jewish community.
Judenplatz Wien, Austria
Dark places of Vienna
find the full list of Untold Dark Places here or choose from our favourites.