The "beautiful corpse" is not only an ostentatious funeral, but also an expression of a certain quality of life. So what better location for the Funeral Museum than Vienna’s world-famous Central Cemetery? A modern, interactive museum has been created on an area of 300 m² beneath the historic chapel of rest. Visitors learn interesting facts about the Viennese funeral service, the funeral industry, the history of Vienna’s cemeteries and about the features of the "Viennese cult of the dead" from the end of the 18th century until today.
More than 250 original objects and photographic material are on display, including an original "Fourgon" (coach for transporting bodies) from around the year 1900. A heart palpitation knife and a life-saving clock are the most bizarre exhibits: They date to a time when people worried about being buried alive. From the year 1784 comes the famous foldaway coffin, which Emperor Joseph II. had used in order to be able to recycle coffins several times. A billing instruction of the imperial court can also be seen: It concerns the costs for the transport and funeral of the heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie von Hohenberg, who were shot dead in Sarajevo in 1914.
Interactive and multimedia content can be found throughout the permanent exhibition. Videos, including one of the funeral of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1916, can be watched on 13 monitors, while an audio station allows the public to listen to the most popular songs currently played at funerals.