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Scent of a City – Exploring Local Colognes

Scent of a City – Exploring Local Colognes

What are the scents that define Vienna? I don’t mean Kaiserschmarrn with warm plums or Christmas market punch or the acrid smell of the carriage horses by Stephansdom. I mean the bottled fragrances – perfumes, colognes, waters, oils – that cannot be purchased around the world in duty-free carts. Seven generations of the Filz family […]

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

It is 5:00 in the morning. They lie in damp grass that gets increasingly uncomfortable as time passes. They have waited for hours, listening for the slightest noise. Suddenly, one shot, and the waiting is forgotten. This is not Africa or the wilds of the Yukon. This is Vienna, where a group of intrepid local […]

Jobs: Creative Job Speed Dating

Jobs: Creative Job Speed Dating

“OK ladies and gentlemen, let’s begin, you have 5 minutes starting now.” We were seated at a long black table in a 16th-floor suite at Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. The five pairs engaged in conversation, asking questions, writing notes on carbon paper. I “dated” a food editor for Woman Magazine, an editor at a corporate publishing […]

The Path of Everyday Revolution

The Path of Everyday Revolution

Are you looking for something?” The voice sounds less than welcoming. Standing in the backyard of an apartment house in the 4th district, I immediately feel like the intruder I obviously am. “Is this the entrance to Planquadrat?” I say, trying to act self-confident and pointing to a locked door in the fence. “How did […]

Skyscrapers in the Altstadt

Skyscrapers in the Altstadt

In 2001, UNESCO decreed that the Stephansdom was to remain the tallest structure in Vienna’s First District. But that’s not to say the newly-declared World Heritage Site hadn’t already brushed with skyscraper technology. Two fine 20th century Wolkenkratzer rise above the city’s ancient rooftops.   Urban ziggurat At Herrengasse 6-8, it’s easy to miss a […]

Cathedral Curiosities History Lines St. Stephen’s

Visitors seem well-versed in the lore of the Stephansdom. They know roughly where and what it is: a 900-year-old cathedral in the city centre dedicated to the first Christian martyr. But all too many make a beeline for the interior. In so doing they miss some of the building’s more curious features.   A pagan […]

Coloman: Austria’s Irish Saint

Coloman: Austria’s Irish Saint

The next time you pass Stephansdom take a moment to enter the Gothic gloom of the cathedral. Shuffle through the tourists and make your way to the gift shop on the left-hand side of the central aisle. As you enter the little shop, ask if you may look behind the right door panel. There, at […]

Subterranean Cityscapes

Subterranean Cityscapes

Vienna’s summer streets are a hive of activity, as visitors make pilgrimage from park to palace, and market to museum. Understandably, many locals flee to the countryside for the cool and the quiet. But there is another way! And that is to head underground. Beneath the 1st District is a warren of secret places that […]

The Pummerin Tolls Again

The Pummerin Tolls Again

Vienna’s most famous church bell, the Pummerin in St. Stephan’s Cathedral, will get a new clapper on Mar. 9, Ash Wednesday. The demounting and installation of the new clapper, will be carried out by the 400-year-old Austrian bell foundry Grassmayr. A time frame of five weeks was set aside for the work, which will be […]

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