Prague Cemeteries Seek Gravediggers; Goths Need not Apply

Turnover is high in a profession which attracts ghoulish wannabes, leading to a shortage of serious gravediggers in Prague

Prague cemeteries management (Správa pražských hřbitovů) recently posted openings for gravediggers at a number of graveyards around town, including the famous Olšany Cemetery, on their website and Facebook page. 

Martin Červený, director of the organization recently told iDnes.cz that turnover in the job is high due to the large number of applicants from the “metal and goth subcultures” who flock to the profession as part of their image, only to underestimate its physically and mentally exhausting aspects.

“They want to be able to tell their friends in the pub that they dug through bones. Members of these groups usually do not last,” he says.

Červený, who has worked as a gravedigger since his student years, outlined the requirements for a succuessful candidate, which first and foremost include physical strength and good manners. 

Surprisingly, no professional training is required, though employees may opt to take a day-long training course focused on legal, health, and hygiene matters as well as the practice of opening tombs and lowering coffins.

The starting salary for a gravedigger in Prague is 18,000 CZK.

For a less hands-on experience with Prague cemeteries read our articles The Hidden Cemeteries of Prague and Prague’s Most Chilling Grave Sites or attend a cemetery walk with an expert on funerary architecture (CZ only) October 1 at Olšany Cemetery (regular tours are organized by the SPH).


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