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Secret Vienna Blog


Prater Stars and Stations

Although you may not have ever given it any actual thought, the name Pratersten is not random or accidental – it is in fact next to the Prater, and shaped like a star (stern) by virtue of the 7 streets that all meet there. It has officially had this name since the 19th century, some…

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August 20, 2019

Tales of Torberg

Every place has its literary traditions, and Vienna even more than most. As a diverse and multi-cultural center of culture at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, there was no shortage of imagination and creativity in the city, much of which was cultivated through the intellectual and artistic scenes that…

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August 2, 2019

Moving Mozart

One of the most famous statues in the Burggarten is the Mozart Monument, located right by the entrance of the park and invariably surrounded by tourists with cameras. It seems such a natural part of the Burggarten these days that it is difficult to imagine it elsewhere – but indeed, this was not its original…

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April 10, 2019

The story of the Burgtheater

The actor Terrence Mann once famously said that “movies make you famous; television makes you rich; but theatre will make you good”. And if you are an actor in Vienna there is one place in particular that even makes you one of the best – the Burgtheater, or as the Viennese call it “die Burg”….

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February 25, 2019

Austria’s National Day

In order to find out more about the mood in Vienna at the end of 1955, this SV explorer searched the archives and found a long ‘Letter from Vienna’ sent by the correspondent of The New Yorker magazine to his American readers back home in November 1955. From this letter we find out that the…

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October 25, 2018

The Ringturm and its artsy wrapping

If, like this SV explorer, you are one of those people who use the Donaukanal as a natural extension of your living-room during summer evenings, then you are already familiar with the huge artsy prints which cover completely one of the tallest buildings of the area and that change every season. If you are so…

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July 3, 2018

Denzel – the first Austrian car

At the end of World War II, everything was gloom and doom in Vienna, as we wrote in a previous post. Or almost everything.  Wolfgang W. Denzel, a racing driver and engineer whose father owned an electrical engines factory in Styria, decided to build the first Austrian car in Vienna. Using the chassis of a…

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June 15, 2018

The story of the Philipphof

Sometimes we tell you stories about buildings that one can see when walking around the city. And if you look carefully you may notice that some buildings seem a bit out of place. This may happen, for example, in the city center where you may see a baroque building next to a building built during…

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May 10, 2018

Glimpses of Post-War Vienna

For some glimpses into post War Vienna, your SV explorer looked through the period articles covering the city in The New Yorker magazine. Most dispatches compare Vienna to Berlin. Vienna fares slightly better in all. The economic situation is dire in the first letter from February 1946. The black market is flourishing. Most looked after…

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March 4, 2018

The Third Man and the Ruins of Vienna

The Third Man, a 1949 film noir directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene is constantly rated as one of the best British movies ever made. Its plot is deceivingly simple, built around a detective story placed in post-World War II Vienna. For Vienna lovers, though, it is not the screenplay, the cinematography,…

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February 25, 2018

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