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Secret Vienna Blog

The story of Austrian satirical writer and journalist- Moritz Gottlieb Saphir

The story of Austrian satirical writer and journalist- Moritz Gottlieb Saphir

Nowadays, comedy and satire writers are quite popular and are especially liked by those who aren’t the target of their content 😀 But in the 1st half of the 19th century, being a satirical writer was quite a dangerous job. One wrong joke and you can get summoned to a duel or even face imprisonment….

The success of Madame Tussaud- Part II

Madame Tussaud

Some days ago, we told you about the childhood and early career of Marie Grosholtz, who is now known as Madame Tussaud. While her beginning can be attributed to her mentor, doctor Philippe Curtius, becoming an icon was definitely her own doing.   Already early on Marie loved creating wax models of celebrities. Back in…

The Coronation of Napoleon

a group of people in costumes

The magnificent church of Notre Dame in Paris was particularly full on the 2nd of December, 1804. Although it was a Sunday, the local Parisians did not come to attend the Sunday mass but rather to witness an event with incredible significance in European history. For many, the ceremony they were about to witness was…

Happy birthday Madame Tussaud- Part I

Madame Tussaud

Have you visited the Madame Tussaud’s museum in Vienna already? Well, in any case, after reading this story you can visit it knowing who Madame Tussaud actually was. 🙂   Born in Strasbourg, France on the 1st of December, 1761, Marie Grosholtz (later Tussaud) was raised by her hard working single mother. Her father, Joseph…

Grand Duke Leopold abolishes the death penalty

Leopold abolishes the death penalty

Leopold II, the third son of Maria Theresa and the brother of emperor Joseph II, was undoubtedly an impressive man and a great emperor. Despite his short reign, he managed to continue his brother’s reforms in a moderate manner which was more acceptable and arguably more effective. Before he became the emperor, however, Leopold (or…

Leopold Mozart- Wolfgang’s creator and tormentor

Leopold Mozart

Few days ago, on the 14th of November, we celebrated Mozart’s birthday!   No, it wasn’t the birthday Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that we celebrated, but his father- Leopold Mozart. If you are a hardcore Mozart fan, we would understand if you are having some mixed feelings about this. After all, Leopold Mozart was not only…

Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi- The man who envisioned Europe United

Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi

Have you heard of Aoyama Eijiro? No? Well if you are interested in European politics, you might recognize his Austrian name- Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi.   Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi was a half Austrian half Japanese politician and philosopher who had a great vision of a unified Europe. As a pioneer of European integration, he served as…

The battle of Dürnstein

Battle of Dürnstein

When we think of a peaceful town where one can enjoy history, relax and disconnect from reality without getting too far from Vienna, we think of Dürnstein. The ancient streets, castle ruins and wide Danube river, make the city both charming and mysterious. With that in mind, it’s quite hard to imagine the area as…

The congress of Carnuntum

Carnuntum

The Roman legionary camp of Carnuntum, located right between Vienna and Bratislava, had a great significance and was one of the empire’s most eastern strongholds. Although today nothing but ruins remain there, Carnuntum was once a large city with over 50,000 inhabitants.  Carnuntum was founded during the reign of the first emperor, Augustus, and became…

Happy Birthday Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

She was one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses of her time. So beautiful in fact, that people couldn’t believe she was also an inventor who made some groundbreaking discoveries!   The story of Hedy Lamarr is a truly remarkable one. The Austrian actress, who some considered as the most beautiful woman in the world, was…