EXPLORE NEIGHBOURHOOD 7. Bezirk A walk through Neubau Words by Jaclyn Gruenberger Photos by Aleyah Solomon
Neubau is proof that gentrification doesn’t have to be a bad word. This hip Vienna neighbourhood, once a bohemian haven for artists and musicians, has grown into an urban hotspot offering everything from high-end shopping and modern restaurants to vintage stores and independent bookshops echoing its arty past. The seventh district got its start as a creative centre in the 18th century, when it was first populated by the workers who staffed its many silk factories. Soon, the affordable rent attracted musicians, writers, singers and artists, along with travelling theatre groups, who set up the temporary open-air theatres that have since become internationally respected. Taverns and inns followed; eventually, Neubau became the cultural epicentre of the city. From its artistic origins, the neighbourhood spawned an eclectic mix of shops, art galleries, bars and music venues, providing an ideal base for artists and musicians looking to collaborate. Now, Neubau’s range has expanded; one can find cool outdoor patios and international cuisine amongst artists’ workshops. Wander around this locale and you’ll likely find historic architecture and a staggering number of trendy coffee shops where weary travellers can refuel. It’s this cohesive mix of vintage bohemian and nouveau-hipster that adds to Neubau’s charm.
Facts On The Side: The high number of theatres and taverns in the early days of Spittelberg earned the neighbourhood a reputation as a red light district; this status has since faded away.