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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Oct 2017

The Story of Ottakringer Brauerei

Vienna tends to be associated more with wine than with beer, but when it comes to beer, Ottakringer is surely the one that comes to mind. Ottakring is of course also the name of the 16th district, and the namesake for the beer and brewery which is located in that district. When it was established…

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October 28, 2017

From smoking alternative to children’s candy: the story of PEZ

When you think of Austrian products and companies, you might think of Red Bull, Manner wafers, or Doppelmayr ski lifts. However, there is another well-known company from your childhood that you might not realize is actually Viennese! Remember PEZ candies and the playful dispensers they came with? They began life as a compressed peppermint sweet…

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October 25, 2017

Vienna’s Giant Wheel

We recently told you about the Vienna World Fair of 1873, and the large Rotunda that was built in the Prater as part of this exhibition. While that building unfortunately no longer exists, there is another large construction in the Prater that has stood the test of time, and has become one of Vienna’s most…

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October 23, 2017

Vienna Rotunda: The Life and Death of the World’s Largest Dome

The grounds near Prater Messe where the current WU is located may seem to have been a largely unused space before the WU was built a few years ago, but in fact these grounds and their use have a long history. It was here that in 1873 the world’s 5th World Fair took place, which…

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October 21, 2017

Tennis, politics, and Sachertorte in Vienna

What do tennis, Austrian politics, and the Sachertorte have in common? The origins of what we know today as tennis go back to 12th century France and it was a famous game among the French royals. The game also made it to Vienna and the place where the Habsburgs played it was the “Ballhaus”. One…

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October 18, 2017

Vienna’s first picture

As a follower of SV (and perhaps also of our Instagram account) you know that for our stories we always try to show you the best pics we can take. But of course, we were not the first to take pictures of Vienna. The first publicly available photographic process was the “daguerreotype”, which was invented by the French artist Louis Daguerre. Therefore, he was one of the first photographers. The honor of being Vienna’s first photographer goes to Andreas von Ettingshausen, a mathematician and physicist. He was born in Heidelberg and made Vienna his home as he attended Vienna University and got a professorship there in 1817. Once the news about Daguerre reached Vienna, Chancellor Metternich arranged for Ettingshausen to leave for Paris in 1839. And there he not only acquired this innovative invention, but learned the secrets behind it…

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October 15, 2017

The Story of the “Wiennerisches Diarium”

Have you heard of the “Wiennerisches Diarium”? The first edition of the Wiennerisches Diarium consisted of 10 pages and was issued on August 8, 1703. This edition included not only the latest news (local and international), but also information about deaths, weddings, and arrivals to the city. The first death announced was that of Matthias…

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October 12, 2017

The masters of Baroque architecture: Fischer von Erlach Vs. Hildebrandt

The Fischer von Erlach were a family of artists that one can “see” in many places of today’s Vienna. Johann Baptist was a sculptor from Graz. His son Johann Bernhard and his grandson Joseph Emanuel were architects. The Karlskirche, the Böhmische Hofkanzlei, the Hofbibliothek, and Schönbrunn are just some of the projects that these architects…

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October 5, 2017

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