Blog

Parks and gardens

The story of the Burgtor (Update)

AC7F29ED-6B56-4639-A7AB-F07E43D75DB6_4-COPY

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 “Pferdebändiger”

IMG_7585

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…

The Story of the Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel

Version 4

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…

The Story of the Stefaniewarte

IMG_5570

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 story of the Hermesvilla

IMG_5116

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 Donaukanal: from abandoned to beloved

hermann-strandbar

Over the years, the Donaukanal has become one of the most popular summer hang-outs in the city. But before 2010, this part of Vienna was almost entirely devoid of any kind of social scene, with the exception of the Hermann Strandbar – which itself has only been around since 2005. It’s true that prior to…

The Global Gardens of Schönbrunn

schoenbrunn-gardens

While it may seem completely natural nowadays to have easy access to products from all over the world, in the past it was considered a great luxury to procure certain goods from around the world. Amongst these luxuries were plants from the four corners of the globe, which only the elite could afford to go…

Moving Mozart

mozart

One of the most famous statues in the Burggarten is the Mozart Monument, located right by the entrance of the park and invariably surrounded by tourists with cameras. It seems such a natural part of the Burggarten these days that it is difficult to imagine it elsewhere – but indeed, this was not its original…

Live like a king

IMG_4041

Did you know that you can live in the Hofburg or Schönbrunn? These are some of the most famous addresses in Vienna, but they are not only for the royals and nobility of yesteryear; no, they also contain rental apartments that are open to anyone—assuming you get a spot! The number of apartments are quite…

Don’t fall in love at the Copa, Copa Cagrana

copa-cagrana

As winter wears on, many of us may start to dream of the blue waters and white sand beaches of less land-locked countries than Austria, but Vienna has its own cheeky and charming remedy: the Copa Cagrana. Taking its name from a too-clever-by-half portmanteau of the famous Brazilian Copacabana and the Vienna district in which…