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Buildings and architecture

The Story of the Stefaniewarte

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Perhaps visitors to Vienna have noticed that part of the city is surrounded by hills. If you walk, for example, east from the Stephansdom there is no chance you will miss them. It is likely that the most famous hill in the city is the Kahlenberg. Located in the district of Döbling with a height…

The Arena

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On June 27, 1976 a group of activists, referring to themselves as the Arenauten, occupied the abandoned area of the St. Marx slaughterhouse to protest the lack of alternative culture venues for young people. Eventually the activists had to move to a part of the slaughterhouse built in 1908. That is where the story of…

Bahá’í Center Austria

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Out in the 14th district is a rather unassuming house that has quite a history. Since 2010 it has housed the Bahá’í Center Austria, which is the Austrian seat of a religion that originated in Iran in the 19th century, and currently centered in Haifa, Israel. But the building began life in 1903 as a…

The story of the Jewish cemetery in Währing

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Perhaps you know that in the very old days it was customary for churches to be surrounded by a cemetery. This was for example the case of the Stephansdom and the Michaelerkirche in the city center. In the 18thcentury, Kaiser Joseph II decided to ban cemeteries from Vienna’s inner districts and one of the cemeteries…

Evangelische Kreuzkirche Hietzing

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There is no shortage of churches in Vienna, some better and some lesser known. One of the probably lesser-known churches that deserves a second look is the Evangelische Kreuzkirche Hietzing. Although it was not completed until 1931, it borrows heavily from earlier traditions and restrictions that were placed on the building of Protestant churches. Although…

The story of the Hermesvilla

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It is quite impressive how some buildings in Vienna have survived the last centuries facing, among many others, the demands of modern societies and the consequences of two World Wars. One such place is the Hermesvilla. Built in 1882-1886, at the request of the emperor Franz Joseph for his wife Elisabeth, the Hermesvilla is located…

The story of the Otto Wagner Pavilion Karlsplatz

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We have told you a bit about Otto Wagner and his influence on Viennese architecture and design. Perhaps his largest project was the design of the Stadtbahn that today can be seen along the metro lines U4 and U6. An important station of the Stadtbahn was one located at Karlsplatz as it was the first…

The story of the Billrothhaus

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The Frankgasse in Alsergrund (Vienna’s 9th district) may not be a household name unless you live in the area. But on this street there is an organization with a long history that has its home, namely the Gesellschaft der Ärzte in Wien (College of Physicians in Vienna). Established in 1837 with the goal of promoting…

The story of the Fleischmarkt

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Walking down the Rotenturmstraße to the Schwedenplatz area you perhaps will find a street with the name Fleischmarkt. The street is very old and was already known in the 1200s as “carnifices Viennensis”, which suggests that there used to be a meat market. You see, as Vienna was well situated for maritime transport, a lot…

The story of the Dorotheum

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If you are lucky, next time you pass by the Dorotheum auction house, you may see the delivery of beautiful classic cars, precious paintings, or other interesting items. The auction house Dorotheum has a long history. At over 300 years old, some refer to it as “Tante Dorothee” or “Aunt Dorothy”, it is one of…