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A racetrack fit for a king

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Did you know that Vienna historically had two separate horse race tracks, one for trotting (Trabrennbahn) and one for galloping (Galopprennbahn). The Galopprennbahn is the older of the two, having been opened already in 1839. It was according to the architectural and artist tenants of Historicism, which was popular at the time, incorporating a great…

The Russian orthodox cathedral of Vienna

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St. Stephen’s Cathedral is probably the most famous building in Vienna. But few people know that it is not the only cathedral in town. Take the splendid Russian Orthodox St. Nicholas Cathedral, for example. It is located in the third district of Vienna, in the heart of the city’s diplomatic quarter. It was built between…

The story of the Palais Rasumofsky

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The Palais Rasumofsky was built in 1806 as a garden palace for the Russian ambassador Andrei Kirillowitsch Rasumofski who was known as a generous supporter of the fine arts: The ambassador had an enormous art collection, which has been described as one of the most important ones in Vienna. Even Beethoven dedicated various sonatas to him. Unfortunately, in New…

Financing the livestock market

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Some weeks ago we told you about the animal market at St. Marx. Such a large market naturally also meant that quite large sums of money regularly changed hands as animals were bought and sold – which required the establishment of financial institutions in order to be able to handle these transactions. If you walk…

The Remains of Vienna’s Central Livestock Market

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Historically there were many different markets in Vienna, and many of today’s street names reflect this: Kohlmarkt, Heumarkt, Hoher Markt, and Bauernmarkt to name a few. Aside from the names that harken back to these earlier times, however, there is little other evidence that would clue you in to the fact that these areas used…

The Tramway Museum

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Together with excellent tap water, fresh air, urban silence and Mahlzeit, Vienna’s trams are part and parcel of the list of things that make this beautiful city tick. Like most things that function almost flawlessly, it is easy to just take them for granted as something that has been here forever and will be here…

The Arena

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On June 27, 1976 a group of activists, referring to themselves as the Arenauten, occupied the abandoned area of the St. Marx slaughterhouse to protest the lack of alternative culture venues for young people. Eventually the activists had to move to a part of the slaughterhouse built in 1908. That is where the story of…

The Heights of the Hochstrahlbrunnen

Vienna City Tours

There is no shortage of fountains around Vienna, but one of the largest and best known is the Hochstrahlbrunnen at Schwarzenbergplatz. Although it looks like a rather modern construction, it was actually built — in a matter of just 4 months – in 1873. Although it stands just in front of the Russian monument, it…

It’s not me, it’s a photograph – Elina Brotherus exhibition in Kunst Haus Wien, Museum Hundertwasser

City Tour of Vienna

‘It’s not me, it’s a photograph’ is the title of the current exhibition of Elina Brotherus, a Finnish photographer, on display in Museum Hundertwasser in Vienna’s third district. While apparently meant to put some protective distance between the viewer and the artist, the title ends up triggering a series of questions: what is a photograph,…