Feuerhalle Simmering

Feuerhalle Simmering is a crematorium with attached urn burial ground in the Simmering district of Vienna, Austria. It lies at the end of an alley, directly opposite Vienna Central Cemetery's main gate.

Description

Opened on 17 December 1922 by Vienna's mayor Jakob Reumann, Feuerhalle Simmering was the first crematorium in Austria. It also constituted an element of the social and health services policy of Red Vienna. Advocates of cremation, especially from the labour movement – such as the Workers' Cremation Association "The Flame" –, had been campaigning for decades for crematoria in Austria, but applications were always rejected by the authorities. In 1921, Vienna's City Council, now under Social Democrat rule, approved the construction of a crematorium in Vienna. Reumann had to defend this decision at the Austrian Constitutional Court as he had granted building permission for the crematorium against the order of a federal minister from the Christian Social Party. The lawsuit was finally decided in 1924 in favour of the crematorium.

Feuerhalle Simmering's main building and its immediate surroundings were planned by Clemens Holzmeister, who designed the crematorium to resemble an oriental fortress.[1] Holzmeister's design carefully placed the crematorium into the walled gardens of the derelict Schloss Neugebäude, and thus also put the former palace gardens with its many ancient trees (designated natural monuments) to new use as urn burial ground.

Robert Danneberg (1882–1942) and Käthe Leichter (1895–1942), two prominent Social Democrat politicians associated with Red Vienna, were killed in Nazi concentration camps and have symbolic graves of honour at Feuerhalle Simmering.

Notable cremations

Ashes on site

Ashes elsewhere

References

  1. "Undertakers' Museum". Vienna Direct. Retrieved 2014-11-03. And less than 20% of the predominantly Catholic Viennese choose cremation, the rest hoping for a schöne Leiche (beautiful corpse).

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