Knights of the Red Cross with the Red Star, or Military Order of the Crusaders of the Red Star is a religious order originating from Bohemia, devoted mainly to offering medical care. The order trace its origins to 1233 in a fraternity of Franciscan tertiaries attached to a hospital in Prague. The Order was established by St. Agnes of Bohemia, making it the only male religious order founded by a woman.
This beautiful palace, situated in Kreuzerherrengasse 1, (right behind St. Charles Boromeo church) is the provincial seat of the Order.
Recycling on a grand scale
For nearly one hundred years, four huge gasometers loomed high over Vienna's Simmering district. Times change - the gasometers became obsolete as natural gas replaced manufactured town gas, and the industrial area around them slipped into decline as industry moved further out of the city. So, what do you do with four huge redbrick cylinders that are protected because of their historical merit as industrial architecture?
The answer in Vienna was to turn them into high quality subsidised housing, an innovative solution very much in keeping with the city's commitment to preserving all aspects of its history. The result is an fantastic development that has seen external appearance of the gasometers change very little, but the interior changed completely. Four groups of architects were allocated a gasometer each to design the refurbishments, with four very different solutions. As well as housing there is a two-level shopping mall linked through all four buildings, large areas of office space and the city's archives are also housed here.
Anyone with an interest in urban rehabilitation and/or historic industrial architecture really should make the short trip out to these castles of 19th century industry and innovation. Tours are available.
U- GasometerRelated to:
Sometimes it happens that in exploring the city we choose the wrong direction and find ourselves lost in space. I was not far from the Donaukanal but tall buildings around prevented me to see some of the famous Vienna landmarks and to find the way out. Salvation appeared in the form of attractive staircase, which is actually located not far from the southern entrance of Museum Quarter, which is in Mariahilferstrasse.
This impressive staircase was built in 1906-1907 and named after Maria Anna Filigrader, who was a bellcaster's widow and lived in this area. She was known for her acts of charity.
Andreas von Liebenberg memorial
Johann Andreas von Liebenberg (1627-1683) was the mayor of Vienna during the second Turkish siege of the town (by Kara Mustafa). He oversaw the preparations for the defense and entrechments and organized militia. Unfortunately, he died two days before the victory of relief army. Liebenberg also rendered great services fighting the plague in Vienna.
On 12 September 1890 he was a memorial in honor of Molker Bastion (opposite to the University of Vienna) reveals. Johann Andreas von Liebenberg is also in the Anker Clock immortalized.
The "Monument Against War and Fascism"
This monument, called "Monument Against War and Fascism", is intended as a memorial to all victims of WW II, but especially to those who were killed by the Nazi regime. There is a very obvious reason that this memorial commemorates all the victims of war, primarily because of the position where has been set. Namely, in this same place at Albertineplatz stood Philipphof house which was destroyed during air raid in 1945 and more than 300 people were buried alive in the ruins.
The monument is work of the Austrian sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka (1928-2009) created in 1991. The sculptor used separate granite elements from Mauthausen, arranging them on the square. The first two elements are called "The Gates of Violence", symbolizing the entrance into Mauthausen concentration camp in the Upper Austria. Mauthausen is the commonly name for the concentration camp which was built around the villages Mauthausen and Gusen.
Baden bei Wien
This is a very nice little town, about 20 km away from Vienna. You don`t need a car to get there. The "Badner Bahn" (a train) departs from the Opera house. There are other trains departing from Suedbahnhof (which may be a little faster) as well. It`s great for an excursion to escape Vienna. They have a nice centre with a lot of buildings of Biedermeier and Jugendstil period, very nice to stroll around there on a Sunday afternoon. Once arrived in Baden, you will soon notice a strange smell- this is because of the sulphur springs. There is a thermal spa in the centre of Baden, where you could relax; they have a finnish and a bio sauna, steam baths, a jacuzzi, 2 outdoor basins with thermal water (very nice to be there in winter when it is snowing), a big indoor basin and even a gym. The entrance fee starts at about EUR 10 for 2 hours. If you`re a gambler, in Baden there is Austria`s oldest Casino. An alternative for the evening would be going to a "Heurigen" in Sooss or Gumpoldkirchen, close to Baden.
Out into Nature - an excursion into the Lobau!
The "Lobau" is a national park in the 22nd district of Vienna (same district as UN building and Danube-tower). The word "Lobau" means water-forest, and when you see the many lakes, rivers, and waters within the Lobau you'll agree that it is appropriate.
A little history
Until the regulation of the Danube in the 19th century, the river would flood large parts of the surrounding land. From this developed many little side-rivers, lakes, and moorlands. After the Danube regulation and the construction of several dams, the Lobau became a popular weekend-escape for the Viennese. In 1996 the area was officially declared a national park, and a protected area. It is home to a multitude of wildlife, including many endangered species.
What to do?
TAKE A HIKE - it's absolutely beautiful. Or go on a bike-ride, have a picnic, go for a swim (some of the lakes are ok), visit the Lobau-Museum, chase butterflies, go bird-watching,... there are a million things to do.Related to:
- National/State Park
Fifth district, my favorite district
Margareten is a very old District of Vienna...already in 1400 it was used for royal huting dogs housing.
Today its a very cosy and lovely neighbourhood with about 51.000 inhabitants on 2,03 square kilometers. Here you can find just anything you need; from personal services, to grocery markets, to restaurants, to post office to a great new fitness and wellness place.... its just a 20 minute walk to the operahouse but also very near the car city exit... here you will find Otto Wagner-Jugendstyle buildings, hotels and conference halls - Biedermeier style houses - birthhouse of Hans Moser - Margaretenplatz - Florahof - Hartmannspital and other interesting architectural sights. It also features small cosy cafes and very nice french fashion as well as nature style boutiques.Related to:
- Work Abroad
Papal visit to Vienna
This is not a tip for what you can do specifically, but just to say be prepared for the unexpected. As we were walking to the train station one morning, we saw police vehicles and police personnel lining the streets. When I asked one officer what was happening, she told me the Pope would be coming by in about 10 minutes. Of course, we waited. I was using an "idiot proof" camera and got so anxious to get a photo that I took it too soon, but you can see the "Popemobile" coming down the street. The next day we met a German couple at lunch and when we told them about this, the guy said, "That's nothing. I'm going to see Mick Jaegger Friday night!"
Techische Universitat, as it is called nowadays, was founded in 1815 by Emperor Franz I under the name of Royal Polytechnic Institute, with the intention to unify all studies of the technical sciences. Technical university has become the driving force of development of Austria into a modern industrial state.
At the present time this university be trained about 26.000 students from Austria and abroad, making it one of the biggest in the Central Europe.
It's all in the details, even on the most visited
It's always interesting to find a new thing, even on the most visited places in a city. Vienna, with all its history, is no exception. Thanks to Michael I found these details (in the order the pictures were uploaded):
- a pacman tile on the same street as Bermuda Braü;
- a statue of a man (woman?) sitting on a table with lots of coins (still in use?), on what looks like a sewer in front of Griechebeisl. This one I found because a kid stepped on the sewer and a light lit up, revealing this hehehe;
- a plaque saying something about Judas Thaddeus in the Am Hof church (giving him thanks for whatever favor he did to the person who ordered this plaque? Also notice pieces of the other "thank you" plaques).
And then I noticed this one after (picture 4) the walking tour.
- the beautiful decoration of windows on a building between Neues Rathaus and Votivkirche.Related to:
- Budget Travel
The Not-so Blue Danube Canal.
The DonauKanal flows through quite a large part of the city and in the abscence of the Danube itself ( which is further away) makes a quite pleasant counterpoint to the streets and buildings it seperates. Some stretches of the canal are prettier than others and this particular stretch was my favourite. As you can see in the photo lots of the trees along the bank still had their Autumn colours and if you throw in the occasional houseboat you have a very pleasing vista indeed. You must climb down some steps to get to the banks and here there are seats and sculptures and all the ingredients for a waterside walk. This picture is taken from Schwedenplatz and in the distance you can see the Badenschiff, a relic of summer past. Here you could swim and sunbathe during the hot summer weather and it proved to be very popular indeed.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Deutschmeister denkmal is memorial of the imperial and royal infantry regiment "Hoch und Deutschmeister", founded in 1695 in Donauworth. It was named the Regiment of the Grand Master of Teutonic Knights, founded by Franz Ludwig Duke of Bavaria. The monument is designed by the Austrian sculptor Johannes Benk, at the occasion of 200th anniversary of the regiment.
"Hoch und Deutschmeister" is the most glorious military unit in Austrian history, famous from many decisive battles and wars.
The Naschmarkt open market
The Naschmarkt market is located on a central sidewalk between Linke (Left) and Rechte (Right) Wienzeile, in the 4th district (underground stations Kettenbrückengasse or Karlsplatz). In the 19th century, the river Wienfluss was roofed and vendors established theirs stalls on top of it.
Naschmarkt is a shopping place for fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. We find traditional austrian and oriental culinary origins.
Especially on sunny days, it is a pleasant place to have lunch in a market atmosphere in one of the many stalls, restaurants or pubs.
The market is opened every day from 6.00am to 6.30pm.
Very close (Kettenbrückengasse underground station), there is a flea-market every saturday from 6.30am to 6.00pm, selling records, clothes, jewellery...
Melk Abbey is Austria's most famous example of Baroque architecture. The first documented reference to the name Melk dates from the year 831, it was then probably then a clifftop castle on the site of the present-day abbey. It was originally the property of Bavarian Count Sizzo. The castle was captured by the Babenberg Margrave Leopold 1.He made it his main castle and from this time Melk was always a part of the Babenberg dynasty. Melk was where the forebears of the ruling dynasty were buried traditionally, and they wished to see it preserved as a sacred site. In 1089 Babenberg Margrave Leopold II of Austria (1075-1095) gave the church and the castle of Melk to the Benedictine abbot Sigibold and his monks. Since then monks have lived here observing of the rules that were formulated by Saint Benedict of Nursia. The Baroque age was really the peak of abbey's history, within 34 years the whole complex was rebuilt. Berthold Dietmayr (1670-1739) was appointed Abbot of Melk in 1700 and he wanted to show the abbey's importance. It is a wonderful place to visit, but do NOT take the guided tour - as you will be rushed through. Go alone and take the time to pause and see all its wonderful decorative art.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
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As I have my own place in Vienna, I haven't spent a night here. My friends and I go for a quiet...more
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