Secret Vienna

The Complicated Life and Times of Alma Mahler

If you’ve taken our Powerful Women of Vienna tour, you know that there were many important and influential women in Vienna’s history. One such woman, who is not featured on the tour but who lived an extraordinary life, is Alma Mahler. She was the daughter of a well-regarded artist who often painted for the Habsburgs, […]

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The indecency of the Donnerbrunnen

Vienna today abounds with nude statues, nude paintings, occasional nude museum visits (for those who recall the Naked Men exhibition at the Leopold Museum in 2012/2013), naked co-ed saunas, and nude beaches on the Donauinsel and elsewhere around the city. Overall, the Viennese have pretty liberal attitudes when it comes to nudity, but it wasn’t […]

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The Plague, or the Viennese death

One of Europe’s most destructive and recurring problems in the pre-modern era was the plague, which most likely originated in China over 2,500 years ago before slowly making its way to Europe. The plague reached its height in the 14th century in Europe, killing somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% of Europe’s population, but also […]

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Ida Pfeiffer, the woman who travelled the world

As the year comes to an end and we look to the new year for new adventures, perhaps we can all take a page out of the book of Ida Pfeiffer, a Viennese woman of the early 19th century who broke norms, lived fearlessly, and travelled the world by herself at a time when this […]

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