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Evangelische Kreuzkirche Hietzing

3-Kreuzkirche

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…

The Mismatched Harmony of the Minoritenkirche

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…

The Organ of the Franziskanerkirche

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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…

The story of the Kapuzinergruft

Vienna City Tours

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…

Russian Orthodox Church and Tsar Alexander III

Vienna History Tours

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…

The Church of Breitenfeld

Vienna City Tours

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…

The Crusades and the Maltese Church

City Tour of Vienna

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…

The Plague, or the Viennese death

Vienna City Tours

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…

Golden Hares and Jewish Ghettos

goldene hasel

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,…

The Controversies of Dr. Karl Lueger

luegerkirche

One of the more controversial figures in Viennese politics is Dr. Karl Lueger. He is credited with helping in some ways to transform Vienna into a modern city, but he was also an anti-Semite – or at best, a political opportunist who stoked anti-Semitic fears for his own political gain. He was first elected Mayor…