Secret Vienna Blog

Archive: Dec 2019

The Yearly Markets of Old

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Did you visit the Christmas markets in the past weeks? Vienna is of course well-known for them, and people come from all over the world at this particular time of year to visit them. But way before these markets established themselves as an annual winter tradition, there were other ‘yearly’ (as opposed to daily or…

The story of the “Widmertor”

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Walking around the city, perhaps we miss little details that have a lot of history. One of these details is located in the corridor that connects the Burgplatz with the Heldenplatz. In the past we have told you some stories about the walls that used to surround Vienna and over the centuries these defensive walls…

Riding the ‘bim’, Vienna style.

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Have you ever heard the Viennese refer to the tram, or Strassenbahn, as a “bim” and wondered what they were on about? Why would a tram be called a bim, which sounds nothing like ‘strassenbahn? Where does this strange name come from? Well in fact, back in the very early days of the tram when…

The story of the Christian Brandstätter Verlag

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If you are interested in “Vienna 1900” or Jugendstil, chances are you have come across books published by the Christian Brandstätter Verlag. Established by Christian Brandstätter (an institution in his own right), in a way the origins of the company can be found in another famous publishing company, namely the Fritz Molden Verlag. It was…

Vienna’s famous Kaiserbründl sauna

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Some weeks ago we told you about the Vienna Central Bath, located in the heart of the first district and known in its time as the most fully realized and elegant bath-house in the world. As you may recall, part of the bathhouse is still in operation today, though it now caters to an exclusively…

The story of Helmut Portele

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Perhaps some of our readers collect things. Some people collect items such as stamps, books, coins etc. and these items would fit usually in one’s home. Another type of collector would hunt for bigger things such as old timers or motorcycles and one would definitely need a large space to store these. Helmut Portele belonged…

The story of E. Braun & Co.

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When walking along the Graben, you have most likely seen the famous clothing company H&M. And perhaps if you paid attention you would have seen the name “E. Braun & Co.” on the façade of the building. What‘s its story? The building was originally constructed in 1887 for an American insurance company, which is the…

Grandchildren and heirs: W. Neuber’s Enkel & Carl Geyling’s Erben

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There aren’t many traditional druggists left in Vienna, but the few that remain have storied histories and a faithful clientele. One of these is W. Neuber’s Enkel. It has stood proudly on the Linke Wienzeile since 1865, and among its most famous features are the Jugendstil stained glass windows from Carl Geyling’s Erben. This is…

The story of the Burgtor (Update)

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Some days ago, your Secret Vienna explorer came across a very interesting painting. An old view of the Burgtor. This gate gives you access to the city center via today’s Heldenplatz. This is the only gate that was left after the city walls were removed. And if you look closely at the pic you will…