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Remote Control Metropolis

Remote Control Metropolis

Vienna gets kudos for urban planning, passive and affordable housing, and trash disposal. The preferred nomenclature is “Smart City”. But nothing makes a slightly geeky Wien-dweller feel smarter than having the answer to everyday hurdles right on her phone. Plenty of tokens of the touchscreen are dedicated to local everyday needs and desires. With GPS […]

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 […]

Exploring Beethoven’s Bastion with Harry Lime

Exploring Beethoven’s Bastion with Harry Lime

It’s winter, and only the hardiest souls are out exploring Vienna’s back streets. With many content to stay indoors, perhaps now is the time for a little crowd-free urban exploration – and the place to go is Mölker Bastei. This unsung city corner near Schottentor offers five hundred years of history, all within a stone’s […]

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 […]

Josephstadt – Romancing the Eighth

Josephstadt – Romancing the Eighth

Josefstadt is where old Vienna is hiding. While the 1st District is filling up with tourism, shopping, dining and expensive apartments only diplomats and Eastern European millionaires can afford, old Vienna is retreating into its 8th District. Located between the City Hall, Parliament, the University and Burgtheater on the inner side and the 16th district […]

Freihausviertel – From Zeitgeist to Ortsgeist

The character of a Grätzl is revealed by its singularity. Easily distinguished from nearby areas, it is the carrier of a location-bound Zeitgeist – an Ortsgeist, if you will – the spirit of a place set in time, where particular people congregate. The Grätzl’s self-awareness provides its inhabitants with a sense of identity that is […]

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