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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…

The story of the Andrássy Villa (Update)

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Sometime ago, we told you the story of the Andrássy Villa.  A large house in the district of Döblig. At that time, we noted that the place was in pretty bad shape and we were wondering what would happen to it. We don’t know who owns the places now, but we passed by some weeks…

The story of Friedrich III’s tomb

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If you have visited the Stephansdom, chances are that you have seen Emperor Friedrich III (Frederick III). Well, not him personally, but his tomb. Friedrich III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until he died in 1493 making him one of the longest serving emperors. And he is also famous because of the letters “A.E.I.O.U.”,…

The story of the Hosenträgerhaus

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At the corner of the Universitätsstrasse and the Garnisongasse in the district of Alsergrund there is a house with a peculiar name: Hosenträgerhaus (literally the “suspenders haus”). The architect of the house was Otto Wagner, it was built in 1887/1888, and it appears that the origins of the nickname Hosenträger are found in the vertical…

Where the Elites Bathed: Vienna’s Central Bath

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Public pools and saunas are an indelible part of the Viennese cultural landscape; be it summer or winter, the Viennese love a good soak and a steamy sweat. Its a tradition that stretches back over the centuries, and was of particular importance in the days before people had running water and baths in their homes….