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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Apr 2019

The story of May 1st

The story of the celebrations for May 1st dates back to the 19th century and starts in the United States. The conditions for factory workers, who had to work at least 10 hours a day, were very stressful and dangerous to their health. Eventually, on May 1st, 1886 workers started to fight for improvement in their working…

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April 30, 2019

The Donaukanal: from abandoned to beloved

Over the years, the Donaukanal has become one of the most popular summer hang-outs in the city. But before 2010, this part of Vienna was almost entirely devoid of any kind of social scene, with the exception of the Hermann Strandbar – which itself has only been around since 2005. It’s true that prior to…

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April 29, 2019

The story of the other Loos Haus

We have told you about Adolf Loos, who was not only an architect, but also an interior designer.  Loos was born in 1870 in Brno and in 1893 he left for the U.S. (initially to Philadelphia), but things did not go as planned.  When he was in New York he worked, among other things, as…

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April 28, 2019

Käsekrainer: whats in a name?

The standard late night snack after a few drinks in Vienna has to be a Käsekrainer at one of the many würstelständer in the city. Although the Käserkrainer is particularly loved by the Viennese, it has broader historical connections. This is because it was actually ‘invented’ by two butchers from Upper Austria in the 1960s,…

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April 26, 2019

Czech Beer at the Swiss House

A Viennese institution with a storied history – there is no shortage of such places in this city. One of the more popular ones amongst a diverse population of local residents is the Schweizerhaus in the Prater. Long a popular place to have a beer, it was first mentioned in historical records in 1766, and…

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April 24, 2019

The story of the Kettenbrückengasse

Perhaps many of our SV explorers are familiar with the Kettenbrückengasse metro station as this is the one that stops right next to the famous Naschmarkt. And most likely, many also know the Kettenbrückengasse that is one of the streets that marks the separation between the 4th and the 5th districts of Vienna. And if you understand…

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April 21, 2019

The Story of the Starhembergs

Perhaps you are familiar with the name “Starhemberg“. This is an ancient noble family whose origins can be traced back to Upper Austria and apparently before they served the Habsburgs, they also served the Babenberger, which would mean that they have been around since the 12thcentury. One Starhemberg, Erasmus I, won favor with the Habsburgs…

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April 19, 2019

Fire at the Hofburg

November 27, 1992: A security guard raises the alarm after discovering flames in the Redouten ballrooms at the Hofburg. What followed was the largest and most dramatic firefighting operation in Vienna´s recent history. This was not the first time the ballrooms were damaged by fire: Not too long after being built in the early 17th century…

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April 16, 2019

The Global Gardens of Schönbrunn

While it may seem completely natural nowadays to have easy access to products from all over the world, in the past it was considered a great luxury to procure certain goods from around the world. Amongst these luxuries were plants from the four corners of the globe, which only the elite could afford to go…

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April 15, 2019

Livercheese: neither liver nor cheese

It may not be the most glamorous food, nor the healthiest, but sometimes it really hits the spot. I’m talking, of course, about the humble leberkäse. But where does this name come from? After all, it is neither liver nor cheese, thus making the name a bit of a head-scratcher. However, there is at least…

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April 13, 2019

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