Munich Greeter

A peaceful stroll: cemeteries in Munich – The Forest Cemetery

In the Grimm brothers´ tale, Hansel and Gretel got lost in the forest. This may happen to you, too, on a walk through Munich´s only forest cemetery in the neighbourhood “Hadern”. It is a large one. With many graves. And a gingerbread house…

Waldfriedhof Waldfriedhof 6 Waldfriedhof 2

The Forest Cemetery is one of the four big cemeteries which were designed between 1899 and 1907 according to plans of city planner Hans Grässel. Grässel developed a groundbreaking concept: tombs, cemetery buildings and lanes were integrated into an existing forest. This concept, brand-new throughout Europe, focussed on maintenance of the “forest-character” and experience of nature. Therefore, the buildings in the Forest Cemetery are inconspiciously simple and of a lower height than the surrounding trees. The curved paths often look like forest trails.
Waldfriedhof 3

  • From 1905 to 1907, grove-like burial sites were constructed in the old timber forest, then belonging to Fürstenried castle. After an extension in the 1960s, the Forest Cemetery covers today an area of 160 hectares with more than 64.000 tombs (which is nearly twice the number of graves at “Ostfriedhof”). Christianity is not the only religion represented: in 1955, the first Muslim burial ground in Germany was constructed in the cemetery. Moreover, the New Jewish Cemetery is located right here.
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  • Of course you can look for and find many celebrities´ graves on the Forest Cemetery. Among others, the writers Michael Ende (“The never ending Story”) and Lena Christ (“Die Rumplhanni”, “Madam Bäurin”) are buried here. Tragically, part of Lena Christ´s life story is connected to this cemetery.

    At the end of World War I, she fell in love with a young singer and left her husband to live with him. Only two years later, in 1920, this singer left Lena Christ. In adddition, she experienced great financial difficulties which she tried to amend by falsifying artists´ signatures on a couple of paintings. Before the legal proceedings began, she went to the Forest Cemetery on June 30th, 1920. Her former husband Peter Jerusalem presented her with a dose of cyanide. There and then, at the age of 38, Lena Christ set an end to her life.

    WaldfriedhofYou can reach the Forest Cemetery by taking subway No. 6 (direction Klinikum Großhadern) to the stop “Holzapfelkreuth”. From there, it is just a few minutes´ walk along Fürstenrieder Straße to one of the entrance gates. And despite sad stories – once you turn into the cemetery, silence and the soft, earthy smell of trees and plants embrace you. Just relax and your imagination starts travelling…at some corners, I would not be sure that at midnight you might come across a vampire…

  • During the day, it is just a beautiful walk through the woods. Which you may want to finish with a piece of home-made cake at “Café Kubitscheck”, a café in Waldfriedhofstraße 105, designed in the style of the 50s, or with a snack in the beer garden of “Einkehr zur Schwaige”, a pub next to Fürstenried castle (Forst-Kasten-Allee 114).

  • One Comment

    1. Das ist eine tolle Idee und für einen ruhigen Spaziergang durchaus interessant. Danke für den Tipp!