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Secret Vienna Blog

Buildings and architecture

The lengths and depths of Viennese escalators

Everyday the residents of Vienna take the public transportation to work or to school, with a large share of these commutes taking place on the metro. Although the Viennese metro is world class, one element of the metro stations is notably prone to shut-downs: that is, the escalators. These are subject to regular maintenance that…

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February 18, 2020

The story of the “Widmertor”

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…

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December 22, 2019

The story of E. Braun & Co.

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…

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December 8, 2019

The story of the Burgtor (Update)

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…

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December 1, 2019

The story of the Andrássy Villa (Update)

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…

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November 21, 2019

The story of the Hosenträgerhaus

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…

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November 7, 2019

Where the Elites Bathed: Vienna’s Central Bath

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….

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November 4, 2019

The story of the “Heumühle”

A bit hidden in the district of Wieden (Vienna’s fourth district), between the well-known Kettenbrückengasse and the perhaps less-known Heumühlgasse, you will find a small house. At first sight it may not look like anything special, but if you pay attention you may wonder what the deal is with this small house surrounded by buildings…

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October 31, 2019

The story of the “Pferdebändiger”

Perhaps you know that Emperor Franz Josef suffered an assassination attempt. That was in 1853 and the men who saved his life were rewarded. Maximilian Karl Lamoral O’Donnell was made a count of the Habsburg Empire and the butcher Joseph Ettenreich became Joseph von Ettenreich. And this was not all, the emperor’s brother Ferdinand Maximilian…

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October 25, 2019

The Story of the Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel

As you can imagine, after the fall of the Habsburg empire, many buildings were left without an empire to serve. Most of them, however, found a new life, such as the former Imperial and Royal Stables that now host the MuseumsQuartier. There are other perhaps less-known buildings that have also found a new life. This…

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October 20, 2019