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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Apr 2018

The long and storied history of the Schönbrunnerhaus

We recently told you about the Schönbrunner Hof, but its not the only building in the city that evokes the famous Habsburg Palace. In fact, there is another building in the 1st district with a very similar name, and that is the Schönbrunnerhaus. It is a free-standing building at the corner of Tuchlauben and Milchgasse,…

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April 30, 2018

Donaukanal then and now

As soon as temperatures in Vienna make drinking outside possible, the Donaukanal floods with life. The sport lovers who keep the place alive throughout the year suddenly find themselves drowned in a sea of people who just want to talk and drink on the pavement. One can easily imagine that this was not always the…

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April 25, 2018

The Story of the Schönbrunner Hof

Although the Schönbrunn Palace gets most of the attention, there is another building in Vienna with a remarkably similar name that might also deserve a second glance when you’re walking by: the Schönbrunner Hof in the 5th district. It was built in 1904 according to designs by the architect Heinrich Kestel, in which he mixed…

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April 24, 2018

It’s not me, it’s a photograph – Elina Brotherus exhibition in Kunst Haus Wien, Museum Hundertwasser

‘It’s not me, it’s a photograph’ is the title of the current exhibition of Elina Brotherus, a Finnish photographer, on display in Museum Hundertwasser in Vienna’s third district. While apparently meant to put some protective distance between the viewer and the artist, the title ends up triggering a series of questions: what is a photograph,…

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April 24, 2018

Viktor Frankl’s search for meaning in Vienna’s second district

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, A man’s Search for Meaning. A walk in Vienna’s second district is (whatever else it may be) a visit at the…

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April 20, 2018

Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus

Do you know which district of Vienna has the longest name? It is the 15th district, whose official name is “Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus”. Established in 1892, Rudolfsheim was initially the 14th district of Vienna. The name derives from the Crown Kaiser Rudolf who was Franz Joseph’s son. Rudolf would never become Kaiser as he committed suicide at…

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April 19, 2018

The military history of the Yppenviertel

As the days get warmer and people look for a spot in the sun, a popular place to go is Yppenplatz, which has become a hipster heaven of sorts. But the Yppenplatz makes up only part of what is known as the Yppenviertel, which stretches over a distance of 13 blocks. The name itself, which…

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April 17, 2018

The Cloth Arches of Tuchlauben

Most of you have probably been to Tuchlauben, if for nothing more than some good ice cream. But do you know what a Tuchlaube actually is? The literal meaning of the word is “cloth arches”, and the name of the street in the 1st district refers to the cloth merchants who used to hawk their…

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April 12, 2018

Mark Twain and Satan have a conversation in Vienna

If death had a residence in Vienna, Morzinplatz could be just as good an address as any. And not because in Latin ‘mori’ means ‘to die’ and as a consequence ‘mortzi’ means ‘dead people’ in Romanian. In 1897 Mark Twain was living here in hotel Metropol, when news of his own expiry reached him. He…

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April 11, 2018

From Marshland to Cobblestoned Cafes: the Servitenviertel

It is the one of the most charming areas of Vienna today, but it would have been almost totally unrecognizable in the past. What we now call the Servitenviertel named after the large church and monastery around which the neighborhood is built, began life as a series of islands in the marsh lands of the…

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April 9, 2018