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Far From Flanders Fields

Far From Flanders Fields

On 28 June 1914, the shots were fired that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, triggering a war in which over 16 million people died. As winter comes to Vienna, we approach the centennial of a war that shaped today’s western world, and defined the modern Austrian Republic. Over the next four years, […]

Centennial in the City

Centennial in the City

On the eve of The Great War, Vienna was the centre of a massive empire covering some 20% of Europe from the Ukraine to Switzerland, including part of Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Slovenia, northern Italy and much of Serbia and Croatia. The ambitious from across the Empire flocked to the capital; by […]

A Ballroom Reborn

A Ballroom Reborn

On 16 August, 2001 a fire broke out on Marxergasse in Vienna’s 3rd District. Allegedly caused by a careless workman, the flames raged for eight hours. Only when the smoke cleared could the damage be assessed: The legendary Sofiensäle, once Vienna’s most beloved ballroom, was a smouldering ruin.   Bath to ballroom The story of […]

Schottenfeldviertel: A Snapshot of a Little SoHo

Schottenfeldviertel: A Snapshot of a Little SoHo

The vibe makes it hard to resist dubbing the 7th District’s Schottenfeld Viertel a “Little SoHo”. Like the New York original, this edgy neighbourhood once housed factories and warehouses, and the repurposed buildings are striking. Above all, this tiny Grätzl orbiting Westbahnstraße is dedicated to all things photographic, spanning from Kaiserstraße to Bandgasse, with outliers […]

Book Review: The Parodoxical Erwin Schrödinger in Love and Work

Book Review: The Parodoxical Erwin Schrödinger in Love and Work

by Rennie Sweeney The intricacies of a life are woven inextricably into the weave of work and the professional world. In Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution, biographer John Gribbin follows the thread through the Austrian physicist’s fascinating, often eyebrow-raising life alongside scientific milestones. Pleasantly readable, it’s an introduction to seminal ideas for those unfamiliar […]

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

While the tumultuous years from 1914-1945 are surely the most researched, and written-about in modern history, the story of the priest-turned-president Jozef Tiso and the fascist Slovak Republic he presided over has been inaccessible to the Anglophone world. But no longer. With the publication of James Mace Ward’s Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the […]

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers

For as long as history has been recorded, those writing it down have sought lofty justifications and simplified reasons behind tragic events. That is certainly the case with World War I—an affair that on the eve of its hundredth anniversary, has already inspired some 25,000 books, all striving to explain an event that quite literally […]

I’m Chicago, Hear me Roar: The Allure of the 1920s

I’m Chicago, Hear me Roar: The Allure of the 1920s

There is something about the roaring twenties that beguiles trend-stragglers; it’s hard not to be captivated by its lawlessness and sense of freedom, the lure of shady extravagance. Speeding down an empty highway, hopping a freight, all that matters is a good time and staying out of jail. It’s all so far from the conventional […]

Book Review: Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire

Book Review: Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire

The complexity and details of history, no matter what our interest in the subject, can often be hard work to sift through. Thus Maureen Healy’s Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire, first published in 2004, stands out, and remains a brilliant exception. Compellingly written and chock full of revealing anecdotes, Healy reveals a […]

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