I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived in Stuttgart, but I found that I liked the city very much. It has a number of cemeteries one could visit as well, although I only really had time for two. The first on the list was Pragfriedhof, about a 30-minute walk north
of my hotel. Like so many of the other German cemeteries I have been to on this trip, this one was full of pleasant surprises.
It’s a bit of a newer cemetery, established in 1873, and it has a beautiful Art Nouveau crematorium at the northern end of the grounds. There is a small Jewish cemetery on the eastern edge of the main one, but as far as I know it is not accessible at any time – you can see the gravestones through the gate however.
The cemetery was busy with gardeners when I arrived, so I took a right from the main gate and followed the wall as my guide. Like so many other cemeteries, many of the grand monuments and statues are along the main passageways within, as well as along the walls. There were some really beautiful sculptures here, and I was doubly impressed that there weren’t the kind of repeats that you can see in other cemeteries. Sorry, that’s not true. One of my favourite statues, the one that is the featured image of this blog post, is actually duplicated twice in the cemetery. The first time I saw her, she was on the main path quite near to the crematorium. I took a lot of photos of her from various angles. Then, later on, I found her again on a different monument to the northwest of the crematorium. However, the effect wasn’t as striking here, as this area was more shaded and crowded, and it was hard to get the same kind of angles as I could with the first one.
While some of the statues are made from marble or bronze, many more were made of other stones that don’t wear as well over time. However, all of the monuments and the grounds were in really good condition, as evidences by the many gardeners there (some for the cemetery, some hired to do grave plantings). There were of course some mourners there that day, but overall it wasn’t that busy.
One thing that I have noticed in German cemeteries, especially this one, is that it is easier to find more male statues than in other cemeteries. By this, I don’t mean the standard bust or heroic poise that one usually sees of men, but of regular men, old men, naked men, grieving men. Even angels are just as likely to be male as female.
Unfortunately when I was here it was an incredibly gloomy, overcast day, and with the trees and lichen the light levels were quite low in some areas. I sometimes wish I had a flash to lighten up the faces of the statues, but of course that would be incredibly intrusive so I don’t do it. This is definitely one I would like to revisit on a somewhat brighter day.
Quality of Monuments: Excellent. There are a large variety of statues, crypts and other interesting monuments here.
Cemetery grounds: It’s mostly flat, but slightly slopes upwards as you go north. The grounds are well maintained, and like many German cemeteries, most burial sites have a small flower bed in front of it.
Visitors: A few people were there, but there were more gardeners than visitors.
Photography notes: This can be a gloomy place on overcast days but the vegetation allows for a lot of light in most cases.
Location: Friedhofstraße 44, 70191 Stuttgart
Notable Internments: mostly local nobles, writers, artists, etc. Also Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin.
Hours: January-March it opens at 8:00. The rest of the year it opens at 7:15. Closing times vary throughout the year, but range from 17:00 in the winter and 20:00 in spring and summer.