Bratislava is an easy day trip from Vienna, and since I was going there anyway, I decided to see what they had for cemeteries. My research online showed that Ondrejsky Cemetery (St. Andrew’s Cemetery) seemed to be a good bet as it had some monuments. Like usual, I decided to walk there, got promptly lost in the warren of streets in the old quarter, but finally made it after about an hour. Once there I was very happy for the respite from the sun as the tall leafy trees provided plenty of shade. There was no staff there when I arrived, although to be fair it was lunchtime.
It was clear the moment I arrived that this was no monumental cemetery (not that it had claims to be). It’s an average sized cemetery, very green and leafy, with a few monuments scattered here and there. As there was no clear older section, it meant strolling up and down the paths to look at the different monuments. However, being a small cemetery, that wasn’t such a huge problem.
Quality of Monuments: This is a small cemetery and most of the monuments are of simple gravestones and stone crosses. There are a few stone statues, but they are not as well made as the statues one would find in larger, monumental cemeteries. Some headstones have reliefs or small statues of cherubs or draped urns. There are quite a number of iron crosses and railings. The oldest monuments I found dated from the late 19th century (c.1895) but many of the graves are from the 1930s and 40s.
The Cemetery Grounds: The grounds are not that large, it’s more like a fenced-in park more than anything else. Very green and leafy. The vegetation provided welcome relief to the soaring temperatures (38 C) outside. It shouldn’t take more than 30-60 minutes to see everything here.
Visitors: There were a couple of people there, none were mourners or tourists. Just locals hanging out in a quite shaded place.
Photographer notes: There does not seem to be any restrictions on photography or tripods. Despite the grass and vegetation I had no problems with mosquitos or any other kinds of bugs.
Overall satisfaction: I wanted to go to Bratislava anyway, so it made sense to check this cemetery out. However, it was not as interesting as I had hoped. The good points were its park-like setting and a lot of the iron-work, but overall I found it a bit disappointing. Still, if you’re in Bratislava and are into cemeteries, it’s worth a visit (there’s a kebab place out front if you get hungry). I have a feeling some of the other cemeteries in town would be a bit more interesting (see this site) but that’s just a guess.
Cemetery: Ondrejsky Cintorin (St. Andrew’s Cemetery)
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
It’s located in the downtown area, about 20-30 minutes on foot from the station. You can also take bus 206 or 208 to get there.
Hours: 7:00-20:00 March to October, 7:00-17:00 November to February, hours may vary for certain holidays, especially the first week of November
Closed: open daily
Date Visited: September 1, 2015
Conditions: Sunny and hot (38 C)
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