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The Catacombs of St. Stephen’s cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral- Ossuaries beneath Vienna’s historic center, crypts filled with bones and skulls. Most of you have probably walked past or even stepped into the St. Stephen’s cathedral by now. Most of you surely know that you can visit the landmark’s platform via an elevator or by taking the 343 steps up the south…

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October 13, 2021

Evangelische Kreuzkirche Hietzing

There is no shortage of churches in Vienna, some better and some lesser known. One of the probably lesser-known churches that deserves a second look is the Evangelische Kreuzkirche Hietzing. Although it was not completed until 1931, it borrows heavily from earlier traditions and restrictions that were placed on the building of Protestant churches. Although…

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August 28, 2019

The Mismatched Harmony of the Minoritenkirche

If you look up while walking the streets of Vienna, there are many wonders and oddities to discover. On nearly every facade and rooftop in the first district you may find some architectural flourishes or structural idiosyncrasies. Among the more noticeable of these is the Minoritenkirche in the 1st district. It doesn’t take a architect…

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November 13, 2018

The Organ of the Franziskanerkirche

Franziskanerkirche (or Franciscan Church of Vienna) is one of the several hidden gems of Vienna’s first district. Located in a small, beautiful Italianesque square in the medieval core of the old city the building is, as Lonely Planet calls it, ‘a glorious architectural deception’. The ‘deception’ comes from the difference between its simple, well-proportioned Renaissance…

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August 26, 2018

The story of the Kapuzinergruft

Last week we told you the story of Marhsall Radetzky and why he declined the emperor’s offer to be buried at the Kapuzinergruft (The Imperial Crypt). Well, perhaps one should not blame him for declining the offer as the Habsburgs had a particular way of being buried. You see, the remains of some members of…

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May 31, 2018

Russian Orthodox Church and Tsar Alexander III

Vienna has so many churches that it can become hard to keep track, but a few stand out from the crowd. One of these is the Russian Orthodox church in the 3rd district, which just about any passer-by would quickly identify as being Russian on account of the distinctive onion-shaped domes that jut out over…

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May 24, 2018

The Church of Breitenfeld

The Church of Breitenfeld For people who often take the U6, a church they frequently pass by but may not know very much about is the Breitenfelder Pfarrkirche. It is the large church located on Uhlplatz, across from the Josefstädterstrasse metro station. In fact, the square was named after Eduard Uhl, a local politician, in…

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April 3, 2018

The Crusades and the Maltese Church

Amid the bustling and busy streets of the 1st district, there are beautiful and historic buildings hiding in plain sight. One that you may have overlooked amid the general hubbub of Kärntnerstrasse is the Malteserkirche (or Maltese Church). Overshadowed, like most buildings in the area, by the nearby opera house and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the…

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January 31, 2018

The Plague, or the Viennese death

One of Europe’s most destructive and recurring problems in the pre-modern era was the plague, which most likely originated in China over 2,500 years ago before slowly making its way to Europe. The plague reached its height in the 14th century in Europe, killing somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% of Europe’s population, but also…

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January 6, 2018

Golden Hares and Jewish Ghettos

Remarkable buildings with interesting architecture can be found all over Vienna. One such building that recently came to the attention of your Secret Vienna Explorer is a large red building with ornate doors at Grosse Pfarrgasse 19 in the 2nd district. The earliest mention of a house standing at the this spot comes from 1565,…

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December 2, 2017

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