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Vienna Meets The Mall

April saw the opening of the much-anticipated “Wien Mitte The Mall”, the transformed transportation hub at Wien Mitte that allows newcomers to enter Vienna via the City Airport Train (CAT) into a brand-new, six-story shopping mall. For some five years, this point of entry was plagued by scaffolding, construction and shifting labyrinthine detours, offering a […]

A Cloister for Academics: The Habsburgs’ University

The history of the University of Vienna (Universität Wien) stretches back almost 650 years. During that time it has grown enormously, both in the number of students who have passed through its doors, and in the number of books on its library shelves. Birth of an institution The university was founded on 12 March 1365 […]

Franziskanerviertel – Little City Downtown

Franziskanerviertel – Little City Downtown

Few can imagine living in the Franziskanerviertel at the heart of the 1st District, one of the oldest Grätzln in Vienna. It’s flanked east-west by Kärntner Straße and the Parkring, and north-south by Singerstraße and Himmelpfortgasse – the streets have stayed essentially untouched since the Middle Ages. In most cities, no one lives in the […]

In the 16th: A Mysterious Wartime Command Center

In the 16th: A Mysterious Wartime Command Center

Western Allied bombers first appeared in the skies over Vienna on 17 Mar. 1944. Fifty more raids followed, during which 20 per cent of the city was razed. Each time the sirens were sounded, instructions were orchestrated from todays 16th District, from the Schirach-Bunker on the Gallitzinberg, named after Baldur von Schirach, Gauleiter of Vienna. […]

Gumpendorf – Papa Haydn’s Grätzl

Gumpendorf – Papa Haydn’s Grätzl

The bells are ringing at the Ägidiuskirche, where Joseph Haydn’s body was laid to rest two hundred years ago.  The father of Viennese classicism spent his final years in an apartment on today’s Haydngasse, rooming with his parrot, who, as legend has it, called him “Papa Haydn”.  If he were still alive today, the famous […]

Rochusviertel – Flakturm and Schnittlauchbrot

Rochusviertel – Flakturm and Schnittlauchbrot

For me, it was love at first sight: the Rochusviertel. It’s quiet, green and so varied. Just ten minutes to the Prater, five minutes to the highway, and ten minutes home from the 1st District. The Rochusviertel is the area surrounding the Rochusmarkt. It’s bordered by Rennweg up to Schlachthausgasse, along Stadtpark and the Donaukanal. […]

Karmeliterviertel – No Mazzes is an Island

Karmeliterviertel –  No Mazzes is an Island

Just over the Danube Canal from Schottenring, the Karmeliterviertel in the second district is sandwiched between the Canal and the Augarten, loosely carved out between Taborstraße and Obere Augartenstraße, a tangle of curvy, one-way streets.  Over the last decade, more and more addresses in Leopoldstadt want to be counted as part of this Grätzl. Formerly […]

The World’s Oldest Jewish Museum Looks to the Future

The World’s Oldest Jewish Museum Looks to the Future

Light and luminous. That is the impression conveyed by Vienna’s “new” Jewish Museum, which re-opened in October after a nine month face-lift that cost a total of €2.6 million. The darkness of the Holocaust recedes from view, while gleaming Torah crowns in illumined showcases recall the wealth and vibrancy of Jewish life in the Habsburg […]

The City of Music’s Forgotten 20th Century

When Dr Karl Albrecht-Weinberger invited me to come to the Jewish Museum Vienna (JMW) in 2002 to curate a series of biographical exhibitions on the Jewish provenance of the city’s musical heritage, the institution was riding a wave of international praise. That exhibition, “Quasi una fantasia”, went on to New York, to great acclaim, and […]

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