Well, this was the last stop on my German cemetery tour, Part 1. Hopefully I’ll be back again to visit other parts of Germany to see what other beautiful and/or interesting cemeteries they have. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised on this trip, which was a last-minute decision. Sometimes it’s nicer not having any big, preconceived ideas about a place before you go.
Anyway, this was the second of the Stuttgart cemeteries I visited today. Unlike the Pragfriedhof, the Hoppenlau-Friedhof was in the opposite direction of my hotel, going south. This is an old cemetery dating from 1626, and the last burial that took place here was in 1951 (1880 for the Jewish section). So the stones here are old, and in fact, this cemetery is more of a park now, more than anything else. People hang out here, take their dogs for walks here, etc. It was much busier than I expected, but part of that could be that it is located close to the university and seems to be used as a shortcut to get somewhere else by many people. Also, while I was, there were a couple of gardeners clearing out old leaves and twigs from the winter (I swear, the theme of this cemetery trip could easily be “spring cleaning”). They were in the Jewish section for a long time, which meant that it took a while before I could go see what was in there. There was also another section of the cemetery that was completely closed off, as many of the monuments are being restored (until 2020) which was unfortunate for me but of course great for them.
Most of the gravestones here are old and simple, there are very few statues or reliefs of any kind. Most relief work was of symbols – vines, hands, and some type of moth or butterfly. Of course, there were many crosses here as well. The Jewish section, walled off within the main cemetery, was much more crowded but with fairly similar types of markers throughout. Like so many of the cemeteries I had visited on this trip, there were plenty of crocuses peeking through the grass at every turn. The stones here too had a variety of lichen and moss clinging to them, providing some interesting colours, textures, and tones.
I thought that, with this being an old cemetery, there would be plenty of skulls and bones to go around, but in fact, I only found one, clinging to the bottom of an old monument on the inner wall.
Quality of Monuments: Mostly old sandstone monuments, many have worn away, or have had their inscriptions/reliefs fall away. There are a small number of statues and a few more opulent tombs still here.
Cemetery grounds: As this is mostly a park now, the paths are wide and easy to navigate. There are quite a few benches to rest on as well.
Visitors: This is a busy little cemetery, mostly because it provides a shortcut for people, and also a green space to walk dogs and hang out.
Photographer notes: none
Cemetery: Hoppenlaufriedhof (Hoppenlau Cemetery)
Location: Rosenbergstraße 7, 70174 Stuttgart, S-Mitte
Notable Internments: mostly local notables
Hours: possibly open 24 hours? I can’t seem to find any fixed hours