Vienna’s oldest Jewish cemetery

Vienna’s oldest preserved Jewish cemetery, the cemetery in Seegasse, is a jewel of art history. Restoration works at the graveyard have already been carried out for many years.

rows of jewish headstones

All in all, 349 graves have been preserved.

The headstones date from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and are of considerable artistic importance.

Many renowned members of the Jewish community in Vienna such as Rabbi Menachem Hendel (1611), Rabbi Simeon Auerbach (1631), merchant Jakob Koppel Fränkel (1670), banker Samuel Oppenheimer (1703), Diego de Aguilar (1759), and Samson Wertheimer (1724) have found their last home at the cemetery in Seegasse.

Access for visitors

The cemetery was made accessible in 1984. Today the cemetery is managed by the Jewish Community Vienna. During the day, visitors have access to the Jewish cemetery in Seegasse 9-11 via the retirement home Rossau. The graveyard covers an area of 2,000 square metres and is situated on the premises of the retirement home.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 3pm. Access via the retirement home.


The cemetery in Vienna’s 9th district in Seegasse is Vienna’s oldest preserved cemetery. It was opened in 1540 and first mentioned in a document in 1582.

Contract of 1670

Following a pogrom against the Viennese Jews in 1670 under the reign of Leopold I, the Jewish merchant Koppel Fränkel paid 4,000 gulden for the commitment of the city to "preserve the cemetery for all times". From 1696, the banker Samuel Oppenheimer was known as owner of the cemetery. He took care of its restoration and had a stone wall put up around it. The graveyard was in use until 1784. In the course of the many reforms introduced by Joseph II, the cemetery had to be closed but its preservation was guaranteed for all times.

Jewish community saved headstones from destruction by the Nazis

The atrocities of the Nazi regime also affected the cemetery in Seegasse: In 1941 the Nazis decided to "dissolve" all Jewish cemeteries in Vienna. As a matter of fact, they destroyed and desecrated many graveyards, stole headstones, and exhumed the human remains. Most of the headstones were destroyed between 1943 and 1944. A group of courageous members of the Jewish community in Vienna removed some of the headstones and human remains and buried them at the Central Cemetery, where they were discovered and returned to Seegasse a few years ago.

Contract of 1670 was renewed

In 1978 the City of Vienna purchased the premises in Seegasse and promised to restore the graveyard. The contract of 1670 regarding the "preservation of the cemetery for all times" was still valid and was officially renewed in 1978 by mayor Leopold Gratz, when the City of Vienna committed itself to restoring and maintaining the graveyard.

The identification of the preserved headstones was initiated in 1982, and the cemetery was officially reopened on 4 September 1984.

headstone with stones

A fish on top of headstone

Headstones at the Jewish cemetery

Headstone of Chief Rabbi Samson Wertheimer

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