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Secret Vienna Blog


The Life and Times of Luzi-Wuzi

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…

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January 18, 2020

The story of the Palais Lobkowitz

Have you ever heard of the Palais Lobkowitz? Perhaps you have heard the name and most likely you have passed by it. Located not far away from the Albertina and more or less in front of the Augustinerkirche, this Palais was built in 1689-1694 by count Philipp Sigmund Dietrichstein. After him, the Palais changed owners…

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February 14, 2019

The Palais Ferstel

The Palais Ferstel is a bit unusual in that it is named after the architect who built it rather than the owners of the Palais. Most of the palaces built by the nobility or the nouveau riche of the 19th century are known by the family name of the elites who commissioned and lived in them…

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January 8, 2019

The story of the Palais Rasumofsky

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…

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January 7, 2019

The Ferstel Passage

The Palais Ferstel is one among many in Vienna that is rather unassuming, and that you may have walked past many times without recognizing that it is there. That’s not because its unimpressive or unmemorable, but rather is located in and amongst a veritable cornucopia of Viennese real estate, such that it no longer stands…

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December 26, 2018

The story of the Palais Fürstenberg

The Palais Fürstenberg, located in the first district, is among Vienna’s most picturesque buildings that is usually closed to the public. It is not precisely documented when exactly and by whom the neoclassicist Palais was designed, but it was probably built around 1720 and the style was influenced by the architect Lukas von Hildebrandt. The…

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September 27, 2018

The story of the Palais Niederösterreich

Vienna is full of history and it is hard to walk around the city center without passing by some building with an interesting story.  One of those places is the Palais Niederösterreich, located more or less in the middle of the Herrengasse (translated as “The Lords’ street”) and meters away from the famous Café Central. …

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September 14, 2018

The Lost Grandeur of the Palais Wittgenstein

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…

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May 14, 2018

The story of the Bartolotti-Partenfeld-Palais

Some weeks ago, we told you about the Esterházypalais: the only survivor of the baroque period in Vienna located in the Kärntnerstraße.  Well, there is another building that has a similar story, namely the Bartolotti-Partenfeld-Palais that is located in the corner of the Graben and the Dorotheergasse. While on the side of the Graben this…

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December 10, 2017

The story of the Esterházypalais

Baroque is unavoidable in Vienna. The seventeenth and eighteen centuries was, at least for some, a period of wealth and extravagance throughout the then empire, with the multitude of nobles and minor royals vying to leave their mark on the capital. These buildings are inescapable and admirable with their resplendent facades peppered with stucco and…

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December 10, 2017

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