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Mary Vetsera and the man who stole her bones

It was one of the most exciting stories of his life. A stranger entered and declared to the writer George Markus that he was “in possession” of the remains of Baroness Mary Vetsera. Then he opened a red briefcase, took out a skull and laid it on the desk. “That’s Mary,” he said. The man […]

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Shopping in Vienna

The Mariahilferstraße carves a border between Vienna’s sixth and seventh district and it is an unmissable – or perhaps simply unavoidable – section of the city.  It is hard to imagine that someone in Vienna has not visited this street: maybe for shopping or window-shopping, drinks and clubbing, or just for a walk.  At least […]

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The Ditch

What is in a name? Very little, would argue Shakespeare’s Juliet. A rose, famously, would smell as sweet by any other name. Can the reverse be true though? Can a ditch, while retaining its name, be anything other than a drab hole in the ground? The very center of Vienna is dominated by the Stephansdom, […]

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Vienna City Gates

If you walk around central Vienna today you will most likely notice that, no matter which direction you take, you find yourself leaving the city center. Either you’ll hit the Danube canal or come up against the famous boulevard called the Ringstrasse. There are so many streets you could take to leave the city center! In […]

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Vienna’s Freihaus and the ghost of Papageno

Next time you find yourself in the Freihaus neighbourhood (Freihausviertel) at night, pause for a moment. Over the modern murmur of the Wieden (the fourth district) and you might just catch a faint, familiar melody on the wind. It was in 1642 when Konrad Balthasar Starhemberg (father of Rüdiger who led the defense of Vienna […]

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The Café Griensteidl

Karl Krauss and Arthur Schnitzler. Camillo Sitte and Stefan Zweig. Politicians, artists and musicians all did the same. And so did many others: they all were there. During the 1848 revolution, it was renamed the “National Café” and later it became known as the “Literaturkaffeehaus”. We are talking about the famous Café Griensteidl, located in […]

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The Venetian pigeon  

Some weeks ago, we told you about the Esterházypalais: the only survivor of the baroque period in Vienna located in the Kärntnerstraße.  Well, there is another building that has a similar story, namely the Bartolotti-Partenfeld-Palais that is located in the corner of the Graben and the Dorotheergasse. While on the side of the Graben this […]

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Bunny chow and Bulgarian cheese at a market that doesn’t know how to spell its name

Vienna has many great markets, but one of the least touristy has to be the Viktor-Adler-Markt in the 10th district. The market was founded all the way back in 1877 before being expanded in 1910, and maintains a vibrant and authentic flare. It consists of some 80 stands connected by small alleyways filled with friendly […]

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Richard Löwenherz

UK royals have traditionally been welcome in Austria. The red carpet was rolled out for Charles and Camilla earlier this year, while Edward VII enjoyed hunting with Franz Joseph in his playboy years. This warm reception has not always been the case though. Richard I – famously the Lionheart – did not shirk from making […]

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