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Archive: Apr 2018

Donaukanal then and now

City Tour of Vienna

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…

The Story of the Schönbrunner Hof

Vienna Tours

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…

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

City Tour of Vienna

‘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,…

Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus

Rudolfsheim Funfhaus

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…

The military history of the Yppenviertel

yppenplatz

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…

The Cloth Arches of Tuchlauben

Vienna City Tours

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…

Mark Twain and Satan have a conversation in Vienna

Vienna City Tours

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…

From Marshland to Cobblestoned Cafes: the Servitenviertel

Vienna City Tours

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…