One of the advantages of Vienna over International cities such as, say, Berlin, Paris, London, Prague, Budapest, Barcelona, Rom, Rio de Janeiro and others is that the majority of the sites a visitor is likely to want to see is within fairly comfortable walking distance. It has the oldest ferris wheel in the world – 1897 – just to understand it was not the first … Continue reading What’s so special about Vienna ?
The Vienna St. Stephans cathedral is not just a large church with its “normal” functions. He is a treasure trove of secrets and harbors a number of curiosities, whose meaning is known only to the initiated. Who knows for example, that it shown on the main entrance a male and a female sexual organ. Yes, among the heathen towers emblazoned a penis and a vagina. Of course, … Continue reading Pornographic sculpture at St. Stephans Cathedral
The Kipferl, ancestor of the croissant, has been documented in Austria going back at least as far as the 13th century. In 1683, Vienna (the capital of Austria) was under siege by over a hundred thousand Ottoman Turks. After several months of trying to starve the city into submission, the Turks attempted to tunnel underneath the walls of the city. Fortunately for the entire city, … Continue reading The croissant a Viennese invention ?
In 1529 the Ottoman Empire tried for the first time to invade Vienna, they came very close to the city, at the time just the center of Vienna, know today as Innere Stadt or 1st. district was Vienna. Because Vienna had a fortification wall around,it was a little difficult to get into the city, so they had the idea to dig some tunnels near the city … Continue reading Ottoman Empire
An Unknown Grave Although Mozart is buried somewhere in Vienna’s St. Marx cemetery, the exact location is unknown; the current monument and ‘grave’ are the results of an educated guess. Unfortunately, the circumstances of the composer’s burial, and the lack of any definite grave, has led to great confusion, including the common belief that Mozart was dumped into a mass grave for paupers. This view … Continue reading Mozart’s grave
The first Peace Pagodas were built as a symbol of peace in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the atomic bombs took the lives of over 150,000 people, almost all of whom were civilian, at the end of World War II. By 2000, 80 Peace Pagodas had been built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States.” The first one in … Continue reading Japanese Buddist peace structure (Pagoda)
In Vienna there is A life-sized 1816 replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s 1495 painting, Last Supper! Why, Vienna ? In 1805 Napoleon ordered the original to be transferred to Paris. (The original is located in Milan.) Fortunately, it couldn’t be removed so he ordered a copy. Giacomo Raffaelli began working on the masterpiece in 1806 and completed it eight years later. By then, however, Napoleon … Continue reading Last Supper (copy)
The Viennese Coffee House (German: Wiener Kaffeehaus) is a typical institution of Vienna that played an important part shaping Viennese culture. Since October 2011 the “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the “Austrian Inventory” of the “National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, a part of UNESCO. The Viennese Coffee House is described in this inventory as a place “where … Continue reading Viennese Coffee House
Atop the 97.9-metre-high steeple, an iron standard-bearer – the Rathausmann – guards the City Hall. Cast from melted-down Russian kopecks, he is 5.4 metres tall (3.4 metres without his flagpole) and weighs 650 kilograms. The statue of a medieval knight was modelled on the armour of Emperor Maximilian I. A sphere weighing approximately 800 kilograms (a kind of giant pendulum acting as a counterweight) helps … Continue reading The Rathausmann
The Stock im Eisen (German: staff in iron) is the midsection of a tree-trunk from the Middle Ages, a so-called nail-tree (Nagelbaum), into which hundreds of nails have been pounded for good luck over centuries. It is located at Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, now part of Stephansplatz, at the corner of the Graben and Kärntner Straße and is now behind glass on a corner of the Palais Equitable. … Continue reading Staff in iron