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Secret Vienna Blog

Buildings and architecture

The Story of the ceiling painting in the National Library

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If you have visited the former imperial royal library at the Josefplatz, it is likely that you were impressed by its interior and in particular by the paintings there. The large painting located in the dome of the Prunksaal is full of details and colors. Its artist was the Viennese painter Daniel Gran who worked…

The story of the Ottakringer Brauwerk brewery

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It is likely that our readers have had a craft beer already. But if you live in Vienna perhaps you had to wait a bit longer to drink it when compared to other countries. We don’t know when craft beer production started in Austria, but it was in 2014 that the Ottakringer brewery decided to…

The Story of the Pestsäule

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Most people have seen the Pestsäule (The Plague Column) on the Graben. This column dates back to the 17th century and was built during the reign of Kaiser Leopold I with the purpose of asking for mercy so that the pest would end as quick as possible. The first mercy column was made of wood…

The story of the Habig-Hof

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Perhaps some of our readers entered a coffee house one day and they were impressed. Some days ago, we felt that way. But let us start from the beginning. We have told you many stories about k.k. or k. u k. businesses (Imperial and Royal suppliers) and while many of them were located in the…

The story of Hans Makart

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If you have lived in Vienna long enough or you are just interested in art or architecture, it is likely that you have come across the names Wagner, Klimt, Schiele, and Hansen. But there are, of course, other more “obscure” names that used to ring more than one bell back in the day, but are…

The Story of the Opernpassage

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We all know that Vienna is very well connected. And not only because of its great public transport system, but also because it has a system of corridors that help you, for example, to go from the Mariahilferstraße to the Naschmarkt using the passage offered by the Raimund-Hof. Years after the construction of the Ringstraße,…

The story of the Mural at the Lazarist’s Chapel in Vienna

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As we have told you in the past, there is no shortage of churches in Vienna, some better and some lesser known. Some are easy to see while others are not hiding but may not be perceived immediately. The Lazaristenkirche on Kaiserstraße 7 is not hiding, but if you are not in the area, it…

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…