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Archive: Jul 2017

The story of the Lobmeyrhof

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The 16th district of Vienna, also known as Ottakring, was established in 1890/1892 when the neighbourhoods Neulerchenfeld and Ottakring were united. The district’s architecture is a combination of small houses that survived modernity, late 19th century buildings, Gemeindebauten (“communal housing” in English), and other, sometimes strange, types of architecture. In all this architectural melange, there…

The story of the Heldenplatz

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In 1847 Dominik Fernkorn crafted a little bronze statue depicting Archduke Carl – who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Aspern in 1809 – that he showcased in his studio. This little statue would result in an audience with Franz Joseph who asked him: “Can you make a bigger one?” As at that time Vienna…

The story of the Burgtor

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For many centuries, Vienna was surrounded by walls. Today, there are still some remnants of these fortifications and perhaps some of us are so used to some of them that we just do not notice them. The fortification walls that were located right next to the Hofburg dated back to the time of the Babenberger…

The story of the Schwarzspanierstrasse

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If you have taken the trams 37, 38, 40, 41, or 42 from the station Schottentor, you will likely remember the name of the first stop: “Schwarzspanierstrasse” (The “Black Spaniard street” in English). Don’t you think the name sounds peculiar? In the 1620s, members of the order of Saint Benedict came to Vienna and built…

The Water Fountains at the Michaelerplatz

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Have you seen the sculptures on the top of the two water fountains at the Michaelerplatz? These fountains rest on both sides of what is known as the “Michaelertrakt”. The Michaelertrakt was built in the 1890s as part of the Hofburg’s expansion and, as was very common during those years, several houses had to go…

The story of the Bärenmühldurchgang

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Secret Vienna recommends: “Papageno, Gold und Sauerkraut- Unbekanntes rund um den Naschmarkt” In Vienna’s fourth district there is a short passage that takes you from the Operngasse to the Naschmarkt area.  This passage has the peculiar name of “Bärenmühldurchgang” (something like “Bear mill passage” in English).  Why this name? According to a famous legend, one…

The story of the Verordnetenstube

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Some days ago, your SV explorer was in the Palais Niederösterreich – the former parliament of the state of Lower Austria that is located roughly in the middle of the Herrengasse – and managed to find himself alone in a beautiful room.  The palais was built in the early 16th century and it was the…