Secret Vienna Blog

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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 the “Widmertor”

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Walking around the city, perhaps we miss little details that have a lot of history. One of these details is located in the corridor that connects the Burgplatz with the Heldenplatz. In the past we have told you some stories about the walls that used to surround Vienna and over the centuries these defensive walls…

The story of E. Braun & Co.

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When walking along the Graben, you have most likely seen the famous clothing company H&M. And perhaps if you paid attention you would have seen the name “E. Braun & Co.” on the façade of the building. What‘s its story? The building was originally constructed in 1887 for an American insurance company, which is the…

The story of the Burgtor (Update)

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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 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 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 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 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 Otto Wagner Pavilion Karlsplatz

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We have told you a bit about Otto Wagner and his influence on Viennese architecture and design. Perhaps his largest project was the design of the Stadtbahn that today can be seen along the metro lines U4 and U6. An important station of the Stadtbahn was one located at Karlsplatz as it was the first…