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Climbing Up to Klimt

It has been almost exactly 100 years since Gustav Klimt died on February 6, 1918, but he has remained one of Vienna’s most famous and talked about artists. Some of his most well-known paintings can of course be found in the Belvedere and Leopold Museum, but the Judenstil style for which he is primarily known […]

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The Sensuous Stylings of Man Ray

‘There was sperm in the air’ – Stefan Zweig said of fin-de-siècle Vienna in an attempt to describe the environment which had given birth to so many ideas and art works. If a certain air quality is required to sparkle creative revolutions, then 1920’s – 1940’s Paris must have had it in illegal concentrations. Hemingway, […]

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Zum Schwarzen Kameel

“Zum Schwarzen Kameel” has been located at the Bognergasse since its founder Johann Baptist Cameel opened the business in 1619 offering exotic foods and spices. The story how “Cameel” became “Kameel” will never be known. Perhaps Johann thought that this name would go well with the symbol of the place. The business – and the […]

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Royal Inbreeding and the Habsburg Jaw

The Habsburgs were known for many things, but their good looks was not one of them. If you take a walk through the Kunsthistorisches Museum, you may see many a conspicuously protruding jawbone, invariably in a painting or statue of one of the many Habsburgs depicted there. Although artists surely did their best to make […]

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The Four Pillars

If chance or purpose take you close to the Nestroyplatz in Vienna’s second district, spare three minutes of your day and visit the Tempelgasse. It is a small, discreet street, easy to miss if you walk in haste on the far larger Praterstrasse, where it begins. The quietness of Tempelgasse is visually punctured, more or […]

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The mysteriously missing U5

The mysteriously missing U5 If you often take the subway in Vienna, you may have noticed that there are only 5 lines, but they are named the U1, U2, U3, U4, and U6. So can the Viennese just not count correctly, or what happened to the U5? In fact, ever since the early days of […]

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The Saliera: A Very Special Tableware

On 11th of May 2003, a sound of broken glass cut through the thick, deafening quietness of a typical Viennese Sunday and it was registered on the radars of global news outlets. The New York Times informed its readers that: ‘intruders broke into Vienna’s art history museum before dawn on Sunday, stealing a 16th century […]

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The Gasman Cometh

Although we hardly give it a second thought today, providing adequate street lighting in a city like Vienna has historically been a considerable effort – to the extent that street lights existed at all. The city of Vienna has had some nighttime street lighting since 1687, when the lamps that were used burned oil. The […]

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Porcelain in Vienna

One of the oft-forgotten perks of living in Vienna is that you are within walking distance from anything of note that happened in Europe for much of its history. Not that everything happened here. But as the imperial capital, it acted as a magnet for ideas, adventurers, fashions and obsessions. Their traces are everywhere, from […]

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