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The Swedish Nightingale in Vienna

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She was called the ‘Swedish nightingale’, and she was famed for her extraordinary voice. Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer who would find massive success touring both Europe and America, drawing crowds of screamings fans that would have put even the Beatles to shame – and this in the mid-1800s when recording technology was…

The lengths and depths of Viennese escalators

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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…

The Life and Times of Luzi-Wuzi

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There are many scandals, secrets, and stories about the Habsburgs – some hearsay, some confirmed. One member of the Habsburg family about whom much was speculated but not so much was known is Archduke Ludwig Viktor, youngest brother of Kaiser Franz Josef. Known to his family and friends as Luzi-Wuzi, he was known for his…

The story of Christian Brandstätter

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In his “Memoirs”, Chancellor Metternich wrote “The men who create history have not time to write it – I at least had none”. Contrary to the Chancellor, Christian Brandstätter has made history and has had the time to write it. Born in Upper Austria in 1943, he moved to Vienna at the beginning of the…

The story of the Christian Brandstätter Verlag

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If you are interested in “Vienna 1900” or Jugendstil, chances are you have come across books published by the Christian Brandstätter Verlag. Established by Christian Brandstätter (an institution in his own right), in a way the origins of the company can be found in another famous publishing company, namely the Fritz Molden Verlag. It was…

The story of Helmut Portele

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Perhaps some of our readers collect things. Some people collect items such as stamps, books, coins etc. and these items would fit usually in one’s home. Another type of collector would hunt for bigger things such as old timers or motorcycles and one would definitely need a large space to store these. Helmut Portele belonged…

The story of Friedrich III’s tomb

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If you have visited the Stephansdom, chances are that you have seen Emperor Friedrich III (Frederick III). Well, not him personally, but his tomb. Friedrich III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until he died in 1493 making him one of the longest serving emperors. And he is also famous because of the letters “A.E.I.O.U.”,…

The Story of the Cafe Schönbergers

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There are many places to drink coffee in Vienna. Some have impressive interior designs and others are more spartan. Some of them are small and others are big and always crowded. Not all of them have great coffee and definitely not all of them feel like your own living room. Cafe Schönbergers combines important characteristics…

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 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…