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Archive: Nov 2018

The Amalienbad

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The Amalienbad from 1926, designed by the architects Otto Nagel and Karl Schmalhofer, is not only one of the oldest indoor swimming pools in Vienna, but it is also one of the top addresses when it comes to enjoying a unique historical ambience. The splendid swimming pool in Art Nouveau style is timeless and especially…

Of Glühwein and Christmas Markets

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Although you could be forgiven for thinking it is still far away based on the unseasonably mild weather, it is just about time for the Christmas markets to open again in Vienna. Over the years the size and number of markets have grown to the point where it is almost impossible to walk through any…

The “Spinnerin am Kreuz”

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If you are familiar with old paintings or engravings of Vienna, perhaps you have seen those showing Vienna’s surrounding landscape. At least until the beginning of the 19th century what is today the city center of Vienna was the only major urban space in all the area that Vienna occupies today. And somewhere in the…

WU Memorial Sphere

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Walking around the WU campus, you may notice a metal sphere placed on a small grassy knoll outside of building D3. It evokes a somber sort of power, standing both in defiance and in remembrance of a dark and painful history. It is a memorial to victims of the NS-regime, and specifically remembers the students…

The story of the Brigittakapelle

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In the district of Brigittenau (Vienna’s 20th district) there is a small chapel with an interesting story. The Brigittakapelle was built during the 17th century by the swiss architect Filiberto Lucchesi and is located in area that saw fighting during the Thirty years’ War. According to one account, the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm was sent to the…

The story of the Reichskanzleitrakt

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One of the buildings that are part of the “Burgplatz” in the Hofburg is the “The Reichskanzleitrakt” (The Imperial Chancellery Wing). Its architects were Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach and it was built in the first part of the 18th century during the reign of Charles VI. On the top of…

Who was Josephine Mutzenbacher?

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Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself  is written as the memoir of a middle aged, successful Viennese courtesan who remembers her childhood before age 14 when she becomes a licensed prostitute in Vienna to support her unemployed father. And this is where the moral dynamite comes from: all…