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Archive: Nov 2017

The Guardians of Vienna’s Secrets

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The Guardian’s of Vienna’s Secrets Origins The origins of this project can be traced back to a combination of two factors.  The first is the interest in old books.  This interest gave the opportunity to visit many antiquarian bookstores, in particular inside Vienna’s city center, and learn about their collections.  In one way or another…

Hedy Lamarr: Icon and Inventor

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Surely one of the most remarkable women to come out Vienna in the 20th century was Hedy Lamarr. Born towards the very end of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1914, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler lived a long and eventful life. She came from an upper-class Jewish family, but was raised as a Christian.  She became known…

Alois Negrelli: From Egypt to Vienna

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Did you know that there is a Vienna connection to the Suez canal in Egypt? It may seem strange but indeed, the two are intimately connected. This is due to the central role of one Alois Negrelli, an Austrian civil engineer who designed and planned the building of the canal, and is now buried in…

The Kleines Cafe

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Located near the heart of Vienna’s tourist scene, yet somehow far removed from it, is the Franziskanerplatz and the Kleines Cafe (Small Cafe). The square itself did not exist before 1624 because a house used to stand directly in front of the Franciscan church, which left only a narrow passage by which to access the…

The Kuffner Family in Ottakring

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Some weeks ago, we told you the story of the Ottakringer brewery and mentioned the cousins Ignaz and Jacob Kuffner. The family Kuffner originated in Lundenburg (today Breclav in the Czech Republic) and they already owned a brewery there by the time some of its members came to Vienna in 1848. It was in 1850…

Secret Vienna Tours Schedule- December

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Vienna is beautiful every day of the year, but there’s something especially magical about the lights, the markets and the decorations which fill the city in December. We invite you to become a Secret Vienna explorer and discover the hidden gems of Vienna, the beauty behind the scenes. Our guides Tatjana and Wolfgang will offer…

The missing “S” in the Radetzky Kaserne

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If you live in Vienna’s 15th or 16th district it is very likely that you have heard about the “Schmelz”, which in the old days referred to a large green field covering parts of these two districts. In the middle of the 19th century, a part of the Schmelz served for military training and military…

The Controversies of Dr. Karl Lueger

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One of the more controversial figures in Viennese politics is Dr. Karl Lueger. He is credited with helping in some ways to transform Vienna into a modern city, but he was also an anti-Semite – or at best, a political opportunist who stoked anti-Semitic fears for his own political gain. He was first elected Mayor…

Polish Kings and Bagels: The Battle of Vienna

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The first and second Turkish Siege of Vienna figure prominently into the history of the city as well as the Habsburg Empire as a whole, and particularly the defeat of the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 is seen as a turning point after centuries of war between the Holy Roman Empire and…