Blog

Muse and lover: Maria Zimmermann’s memories of Gustav Klimt

City Tour of Vienna

Gustav Klimt is a legendary figure in Vienna these days, though he was already well-known in his lifetime – not only for his art, but also for his many lovers and the affairs he had with his models. One of these was Maria Zimmermann, who was not only a muse, but the mother of two…

The Crusades and the Maltese Church

City Tour of Vienna

Amid the bustling and busy streets of the 1st district, there are beautiful and historic buildings hiding in plain sight. One that you may have overlooked amid the general hubbub of Kärntnerstrasse is the Malteserkirche (or Maltese Church). Overshadowed, like most buildings in the area, by the nearby opera house and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the…

The smelly secrets of the U1

Secret Vienna Tours

Recently we told you some of the secrets of the U2, but it is not the only underground line in Vienna with a story to tell. This time we will go underground with the U1, which was the first subway line to open in Vienna, and is currently the longest line at 19.2 km long….

Sissi’s Bridge

City Tour of Vienna

It is 20 April 1897 and you leave your flat in the Freihausviertel and go for a walk to the Karlskirche. Wanting some coffee, you head towards your favorite coffee house, the Heinrichhof Cafe. Unless you know of another secret path, chances are you will have to cross the Elisabethbrücke (“Elisabeth’s bridge”). Today is your last…

The Complicated Life and Times of Alma Mahler

Vienna History Tours

If you’ve taken our Powerful Women of Vienna tour, you know that there were many important and influential women in Vienna’s history. One such woman, who is not featured on the tour but who lived an extraordinary life, is Alma Mahler. She was the daughter of a well-regarded artist who often painted for the Habsburgs,…

Fischer von Erlach, Imperial Architect

Vienna Walking Tours

If you’ve been to the Austrian National Library, Schönbrunn, or the Karlskirche, then you have seen this man’s work. He is Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, and he was one of the most influential and prolific architects of the Habsburg Empire. Born in Graz to a prominent family, he studied Baroque architecture in Rome before…

Trautsongasse and the mysterious case of the letter H

City Tour of Vienna

Trautsongasse is a street in the 8th district named after Johann Josef Fürst Trautson, who was a Prince-bishop in Vienna before becoming a cardinal in the last year of his life.  If you walk around the 8th district and come across one of the old signs in this street, you may notice that it is…

Secrets of the U2

City Tour of Vienna

One of the things that makes Vienna such a highly livable city is the public transportation system. Although often taken for granted, even the seemingly mundane and pedestrian (ha!) Ubahn system has a story to tell; in this case, it is the story of the U2. Long one of the shorter and less frequented subway…

The indecency of the Donnerbrunnen

Vienna City Tours

Vienna today abounds with nude statues, nude paintings, occasional nude museum visits (for those who recall the Naked Men exhibition at the Leopold Museum in 2012/2013), naked co-ed saunas, and nude beaches on the Donauinsel and elsewhere around the city. Overall, the Viennese have pretty liberal attitudes when it comes to nudity, but it wasn’t…

The Plague, or the Viennese death

Vienna City Tours

One of Europe’s most destructive and recurring problems in the pre-modern era was the plague, which most likely originated in China over 2,500 years ago before slowly making its way to Europe. The plague reached its height in the 14th century in Europe, killing somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% of Europe’s population, but also…