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Secret Vienna Blog


The Lost Grandeur of the Palais Wittgenstein

Vienna City Tours

We recently told you about the Phillipphof, which once stood prominently across from the Albertina, but was destroyed in 1945 and is today the site of the Monument Against War and Fascism. Unfortunately, it is far from the only architectural casualty of the war and the post-war period. Another once prominent and proud Palais stood…

Sex at the Secession

Vienna Walking Tours

The Secession building, with its recognizable goldleaf-covered sphere floating over the Linke Wienzeile, has courted scandal and intrigue since the very beginning. As an artistic movement, the Secession was a break with the traditional conservatism of the Austrian art scene and its orientation toward Historicism. Although the building itself, constructed in 1897/1898, has been generally…

The story of the Winterthur-Haus

Vienna City Tours

There are many landmarks in the city that most people have visited at some point. The Stephansdom is most likely on the top of everyone’s list and the Karlskirche is for sure not far away from it. Built in the 18th century, the Karlskirche is a beautiful baroque church located in the Karlsplatz area. Next…

What’s in a Viennese Street Name?

City Tour of Vienna

There are many fascinating maps in existence, and not all of them are old. The Research Center for Cartography at the Technical University specializes in all kinds of maps, and put out a ‘Karte der Woche’ (map of the week) for public viewing. This week’s map visualizes the streets of Vienna in an unusual but…

The story of the Taubstummengasse

City Tour of Vienna

If you use the U1 for your daily commute perhaps you have come across the station with the name “Taubstummengasse”. Ever wonder why that name? During the time of Joseph II, a school for deaf-mute children was established in Vienna. After several locations, in the 1820s the “Taubstummeninstitut” was brought to the fourth district. The…

The TU and the Cemetery of the Condemned


In a city with a history as long and colorful as Vienna’s, the past is never far from the present. This became clear this past Wednesday night, December 20th, when your SV Explorer happened upon a rather dramatic scene at the Technical University. The street was blocked off, police officers and firefighters milled about, and…

Vivaldi’s last summer in Vienna


Summer time in Vienna means, among many other things, a non-stop array of festival and events in the most popular of the city’s squares. Find yourself here in those warmer months and you will likely while away a few hours in front of the Karlskirche tasting your favorite drink, dancing, or enjoying a live concert. …

The story of the Favoritenstraße


The Habsburgs used to enjoy summer at different locations and, therefore, they built or bought several residences for summer time. One of these residences was located in the “Kaiserweg” (The emperor’s road) in today’s fourth district (Wieden). In addition to this one, there was another summer residence located in today’s Augarten in the second district….

The story of the Bärenmühldurchgang


Secret Vienna recommends: “Papageno, Gold und Sauerkraut- Unbekanntes rund um den Naschmarkt” In Vienna’s fourth district there is a short passage that takes you from the Operngasse to the Naschmarkt area.  This passage has the peculiar name of “Bärenmühldurchgang” (something like “Bear mill passage” in English).  Why this name? According to a famous legend, one…