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The Zentralfriedhof
(German for "Central Cemetery") is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, largest by number of interred in Europe and most famous cemetery among Vienna's nearly 50 cemeteries.
The Vienna Central Cemetery is not one that has evolved slowly with the passing of time unlike many others. The decision to establish a new, big cemetery for Vienna came in 1863. Around that time, it became clear that – due to industrialisation – the city's population would eventually increase to such an extent that the existing communal cemeteries would prove insufficient. It was expected that Vienna, then capital of the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, would grow to have four million inhabitants by the end of the 20th century (no-one could know that the Empire would collapse in 1918). The city council therefore decided to assign an area significantly outside of the city's borders and of such a gigantic dimension, that it would suffice for a long time to come. It was decided in 1869 that a flat area in Simmering should be the site of the future Zentralfriedhof. The cemetery was designed in 1870; according to the plans of the Frankfurt landscape architects Karl Jonas Mylius and Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli who were awarded for their project "per angusta ad augusta" (from dire to sublime).

In addition to the Catholic section, there is a Protestant cemetery (opened 1904) and two Jewish cemeteries. Although the older of the two, established in 1863, was destroyed by the Nazis during the Kristallnacht, around 60,000 graves still remain intact.
The number of interred in this part of the cemetery is given as 79,833 Jewish burials as of date July 10, 2011.
Prominent burials here include those of the Rothschild family and that of the author Arthur Schnitzler. The second Jewish cemetery was built in 1917 and is still in use today. There were 58,804 Jewish burials in the new section as of date November 2007.
Since 1876, Muslims are buried at Vienna's Zentralfriedhof. The dead are buried according to Austrian law, in the coffin, in contrast to the Islamic ritual practice; burial in a shroud. The opening of the new Islamic cemetery of the Islamic Faith Community took place on 3 October 2008 in Liesing.
There is a Russian Orthodox burial ground (Saint Lazarus chapel, 1894) and plots dedicated for the use of various Orthodox churches. Greek Orthodox community buried their dead since 1869, belonging to group 30 A, at Gate 2, behind the arcades, Romanian Orthodox community at the gate 3, Group 38th.The Bulgarian Orthodox Christians are buried in the same group 38.Serbian Orthodox community received their own plot in the group 68 B, 69 C, Tor 3 and group 27A contains the tombs of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Protestant section on the east side is dedicated for the use of both confessions-parts of the Evangelical Protestant church in Austria, the Lutheran A.B (Evangelische Kirche Augsburger Bekenntnis) and Calvinist H.B (Evangelische Kirche Helvetisches Bekenntnis).
Europe's first Buddhist cemetery was established in Zentralfriedhof in May 2005. An area of the Zentralfriedhof has been set aside for this purpose with a stupa in the middle, and was consecrated by a Tibetan monk.

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