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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Jun 2018

The story of the Josefsplatz

Have you ever wondered who is the gentleman sitting on the horse in front of the former Royal Library? That is Joseph II, son of Maria Theresia, and ruler of the Habsburg empire during the second part of the 18th century. He is one of those rulers who are considered to fall under the category…

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June 28, 2018

Serbs in Magdalenengrund

A cute and cozy street in Vienna that is worth a few minutes of exploration if you happen to find yourself in the 6th district is Magdalenenstrasse – which, despite the name, is much more a gasse than a strasse. And it has a long history, first appearing in official documents in 1756. The name…

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June 26, 2018

The story of the Theresienkapelle

Months ago, we told you the story of the Böhmische Hofkanzlei (“Bohemian Court Chancellery”) – located at the Judenplatz – and its long history: Roman past under its grounds, hit by bombs during the Napoleonic wars and in WWII, and many physical changes since its construction started in 1709. In all these years some structures…

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June 23, 2018

A Story of Powidl and Prague

We recently told you about the history and transnational origin of the word “servus”, but there are many more examples to be found in the Viennese dialect that directly reflect the close connections the city had in the past to various countries of central and eastern Europe – especially when it comes to food! One…

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June 21, 2018

The Mannagetta Coat of Arms

Some weeks ago, your SV explorer saw a very nice coat of arms attached to a house in the Riemergasse 6 in the city center. Looking at it, it was obvious that the coat of arms did not match the architecture of the house and through some research, we discovered that the original house was…

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June 21, 2018

A walk down Praterstrasse

Praterstrasse, the large avenue connecting the Praterstern railway station to Vienna city center has many interesting stories to tell and experiences to offer both to the historically minded and to the more urban, contemporary interested traveler. Even if the name seems an obvious match due to its proximity to Prater, for many centuries it has…

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June 19, 2018

Servus and the long reach of Habsburg history

If you have lived in Vienna long enough, you may have noticed that there is not shortage of words or expressions that are used to say hello and goodbye. These include, but are probably not limited to: Grüß Gott, Hallo, Griaß di, Hawidere, Pfia di, Ciao, Tschüss, Babaa, and Servus. Unique among these is Servus,…

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June 18, 2018

The story of the “Schrammeln”

If you were to think about music stars from Austria it is likely that two names would come to your mind: Mozart and Falco. These artists are Austria’s most famous musical exports. There are, of course, other well and less known stars in Austria. Some of them are known nationally and others are famous locally….

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June 17, 2018

Denzel – the first Austrian car

At the end of World War II, everything was gloom and doom in Vienna, as we wrote in a previous post. Or almost everything.  Wolfgang W. Denzel, a racing driver and engineer whose father owned an electrical engines factory in Styria, decided to build the first Austrian car in Vienna. Using the chassis of a…

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June 15, 2018

The Architects of the Vienna Opera

We don’t have any statistical proof, but we believe that 99.9% of people that have visited Vienna have seen the building of the Vienna Opera. It is hard to miss as it stands strategically located at the Karlsplatz metro station. While the Vienna Opera building is very well known, its architects may not be household…

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June 14, 2018

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