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Secret Vienna Blog

Parks and gardens

Hand-me-down Kahlenberg


Rising gently to the north of the city, neither the Kahlenberg nor the Leopoldsberg can really be called mountains, despite the presence of the word ‘berg’ in their names – perhaps for the relative flatlands of the east these qualify as a mountain, but for the rest of alpine Austria, they barely register. Nonetheless, both…

The Palmenhaus Schönbrunn


When the Palmenhaus Schönbrunn opened its’ doors in 1882 it was one of a kind – being the largest in the world. Today it remains in the top three worldwide while still claiming the top spot in Europe. It houses around 4,500 different plant species and has constant temperature of at least 18 degrees, yes,…

The Theseus Temple


The Theseus temple was originally intended as a frame and presentation site for only one single contemporary work of art: Antonio Canova’s monumental group Theseus slays the centaur. For almost seventy years, the impressive white marble sculpture was exhibited inside the Theseus temple until it was moved to the Art History Museum. The temple was…

A morning walk in the 2nd district

Vienna Walking Tours

How does your morning walk in Vienna look like? This is one SV explorer’s 30 minutes of jogging through Vienna’s second district’s history! A morning run around the block. 100m down the Kleine Pfarrgasse street, on the right, there is St Leopold church built by Emperor Leopold I in 1680, after evicting the Jews from…

Donaukanal then and now

City Tour of Vienna

As soon as temperatures in Vienna make drinking outside possible, the Donaukanal floods with life. The sport lovers who keep the place alive throughout the year suddenly find themselves drowned in a sea of people who just want to talk and drink on the pavement. One can easily imagine that this was not always the…

The Danube in Vienna

Secret Vienna Tours

Unless Strauss junior had a problem perceiving colours, one can only assume he took creative license when naming his famous waltz: The Blue Danube. Not only the name is misleading, as the colour of the water is not blue. Also, the simple, beautiful tune hides a more capricious temperament, closer to its changing green-muddy shades….

The story of the Andrássy Villa


Some days ago, your SV explorer came across a large villa located at Hohe Warte 3 in the district of Döbling (the 19th district). This is a large complex that faces two streets and, although the complex is closed, one could still see the building inside, which was in extremely bad shape.  And just right…

The masters of Baroque architecture: Fischer von Erlach Vs. Hildebrandt

Version 2

The Fischer von Erlach were a family of artists that one can “see” in many places of today’s Vienna. Johann Baptist was a sculptor from Graz. His son Johann Bernhard and his grandson Joseph Emanuel were architects. The Karlskirche, the Böhmische Hofkanzlei, the Hofbibliothek, and Schönbrunn are just some of the projects that these architects…

The story of the Jubiläumswarte


The city of Vienna has large green areas as part of the city is flanked by hills. In some districts, not a lot of time is needed to reach the hills and if you walk far enough you end up in the federal state that surrounds Vienna, namely Lower Austria. Many people go to the…

The story of the Heldenplatz


In 1847 Dominik Fernkorn crafted a little bronze statue depicting Archduke Carl – who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Aspern in 1809 – that he showcased in his studio. This little statue would result in an audience with Franz Joseph who asked him: “Can you make a bigger one?” As at that time Vienna…