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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: May 2019

A trot and a run: the Trabrennbahn

We recently told you the history of the Galopprennbahn in Vienna, but as we mentioned in that story, there has historically been another horse track in the city: the Trabrennbahn, a race track specifically for trotting rather than galloping. It is the younger of the two racetracks, and was opened in 1878. It is located…

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May 31, 2019

The Story of Frederic Morton

It is time to tell you about Frederic Morton. Born in Vienna in October 1924 as Fritz Mandelbaum, his family escaped Vienna in June 1939 when he was 14 years old and eventually settled in New York. He has told the story that while he was waiting for the taxi that would take the family…

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May 31, 2019

The Misunderstood Location of the Johannes of Nepomuk Chapel

If you take tram line no. 2 or 5 to the station ‘Am Tabor’, you may notice a small chapel along the side of the road, that seems at once unassuming but at the same time requiring your attention. There is no indication what the chapel is for or what its history is; aside from…

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May 28, 2019

The Story of Mozart and the Organ

If you live in Vienna perhaps you are familiar with the online platform “Willhaben” where you can buy and sell all sorts of things. In the very old days, there was a similar platform in the newspaper Wiener Zeitung. It was January 1791 and if someone was looking for an organ to play music, there…

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May 23, 2019

Augarten, or the joys of Floodplain Park

There are many great parks in Vienna, but surely one of the most loved and most visited is the Augarten. Located in the heart of the 2nd district, this green oasis of manicured lawns and wild, untamed underbrush has long provided the residents of Vienna a place to relax and enjoy in the middle of…

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May 21, 2019

A racetrack fit for a king

Did you know that Vienna historically had two separate horse race tracks, one for trotting (Trabrennbahn) and one for galloping (Galopprennbahn). The Galopprennbahn is the older of the two, having been opened already in 1839. It was according to the architectural and artist tenants of Historicism, which was popular at the time, incorporating a great…

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May 14, 2019

The Queen in Vienna

By now  is it probable that you already heard the news: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6.  And this happy occasion has coincided with a royal event that took place in Vienna some time ago, namely the visit of the Queen.  It was the year 1969 and from May 5-7, Elisabeth II, Prince…

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May 12, 2019

The story of the “Porta Decumana”.

Perhaps you have noticed that the Rotenturmstraße in the city center is a construction site. It has made some headlines in the last weeks as its appearance will change and, if all goes well, it should look better than what it is now. But this is not the only street in the city center that has…

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May 10, 2019

The Downsizing of the Imperial Waters

The Danube is a favorite location for locals in the summer, providing some much needed relief in the hot summer months. While we enjoy it today as a regular place to do sports and meet friends, the Danube used to be a much larger and less predictable beast. In fact, before the regulation of the…

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May 4, 2019

The story of Niklas Meldeman’s map

In some of our stories we have made references to the Ottoman sieges of Vienna.  The first siege took place in 1529 and the second in 1683. There is information about those events and there is even a visual description of the first siege. A publisher from Nuremberg, Niklas Meldeman, came to Vienna shortly after…

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May 1, 2019