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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Feb 2018

The Third Man and the Ruins of Vienna

third man

The Third Man, a 1949 film noir directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene is constantly rated as one of the best British movies ever made. Its plot is deceivingly simple, built around a detective story placed in post-World War II Vienna. For Vienna lovers, though, it is not the screenplay, the cinematography,…

The Art of the Viennese Watercolor

City Tour of Vienna

Have you ever wondered how Vienna looked like in the “old days”? If yes, there is currently an exhibition at the Albertina where you will see old Vienna and much more: “The Art of the Viennese Watercolor”. The exhibition shows city views, landscapes, portraits, genre paintings, and floral works. These include Vienna and other places….

Climbing Up to Klimt

Secret Vienna Tours

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 Jugendstil style for which he is primarily known…

The Sensuous Stylings of Man Ray

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,…

The story of 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, which is a Camel. The…

Royal Inbreeding and the Habsburg Jaw

Vienna City Tours

(Interested in the Habsburgs and Vienna? Don’t miss our tours: Vienna Behind the Scenes, Medieval Vienna, Secrets in the Heart of Vienna, and more.  Also in German and other languages!) Update (December 2019) Here a research paper confirming the “Habsburg Jaw” The Habsburgs were known for many things, but their good looks was not one…

The Four Pillars

Vienna Walking Tours

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…

The mysteriously missing U5

u5 ubahn netz

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…

The Saliera: A Very Special Tableware

The Saliera

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…

The Gasman Cometh

Vienna Walking Tours

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…