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Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Jul 2019

Sisi the royal horse whisperer

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, originally of Bavaria and commonly known as Sisi, is often depicted astride a horse in portraits, and for good reason. She was an excellent horsewoman and rider who had a particular fondness for horses, which she likely inherited from her father, a great horseman in his own right. In fact, it…

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July 30, 2019

The story of the Michaelerplatz

Any visitor to Vienna will have stood for a brief moment on Michaelerplatz, if not longer, to marvel at some of the city’s architectural wonders. Even in Roman times, the square was an important crossroads (today’s Herrengasse/Kohlmarkt), leading to one of the garrison’s imposing gates: Porta Decumana. The square has been defined by the buildings…

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July 28, 2019

Answering the call of nature — literally.

Vienna’s public toilets aren’t just toilets – no, they are experiences! Although you may be quite skeptical of what kind of ‘experience’ that might be, its less shady gas station bathroom and more artificual forest feeling that you might expect! Take a toilet in Ottakring from 2015 for example – here 50 cents unlocks a…

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July 26, 2019

The story of the Neues Institute Gebäude

The university of Vienna has a long history, having been established in the 14th century with its 19th century main building located in the Schottentor area. This main building was too small to cover all of the university’s needs and, therefore, over the years other locations around the city have become part of the university….

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July 19, 2019

The story of old walls at the Hofburg

The Hofburg in Vienna is an interesting place. One can literally tell the history of the Habsburg empire by walking through it. Starting with the Babenberger family and the beginning of the construction of what is known as the Schweizerhof, continuing through to Josefsplatz talking about the reforms implemented by Josef II, and reaching the…

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July 18, 2019

Discovering the Nestroyhof

Nestroy is a name that comes up frequently in Vienna, especially if you are traveling along the U1 where you will eventually come across Nestroyplatz. But who was the eponymous Nestroy? His name was in fact Johann Nepomuk Eduard Ambrosius Nestroy — quite a mouthful! — and he was a famous singer and playwright during…

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July 13, 2019

Breaking the barrier of human achievement

Vienna is a city that has seen many historical events — and may be home to another great and historic feat come this October. That is because Vienna, and specifically the Prater park, have been selected as the next place for Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge to try to break the 2 hour marathon barrier. No…

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July 9, 2019

The Story of Franz Matzinger

We have told you many stories about the Ringstraße and its buildings and architects. There are, of course, many other players that made the construction of the Ringstraße possible. One of these players who is definitely not well known, but an important one is Franz Matzinger. Born in 1817, he was a bureaucrat in the…

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July 4, 2019

Banker on the Edge

Walking along Getreidemarkt just before reaching Babenbergerstrasse you may happen to glance up towards the sky only to start with a shock at what you see: a sharply dressed man in a suit holding a briefcase about to plummet from the roof of the building. And if driving, better not to look up at all,…

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July 2, 2019