Green Cravings Colourful Contrasts Alpine Moments Elitist Romance Urban Moods Beautiful Powers Silent Voices Lively Goings On Fleet Movements Gentle Freedom Flashy Expressions Secret Rivers Hidden Attractions Bustling Life Peaceful Energies Deep Causes Damp Joy Lonesome Souls Lively Diversity Ancient History Audacious Insights Claret Red Love Enjoyable Encounters Invigourating Paths Lively Worlds
12 16 20 24 28 34 38 42 46 50 56 60 64 68 72 78 82 86 90 94 102 106 110 114 118
Imprint Preface Through Vienna's soul UrbWalker Map overview
3 7 124 172 176
Water Games Personal Harvest Island Escape Deserted Factories Three Lifestyles White Pleasure Peaceful Oases Strong Nerves High on Shopping Full Commitment
128 132 136 140 144 150 154 158 162 166
Roland Düringer: Animals with wheels?
Baldur Preiml: Walking can be more
Gregor Sieböck: On foot through the world
Hermann Knoflacher: Progress is only possible on foot 100 Ernst Gehmacher: Walking is social
Dagmar Koller: Keep on walking
Martin Blumenau: On walking in the green city
Roland Girtler: Walkers as explorer
Heini Staudinger: Find new ways in business
7 1 e g a p n o w e i w r e v Map o
LET'S GET GOING I'm going to have to disappoint you right from the beginning, because this book isn't a walking guide, it's more of a »walker's diary« or perhaps closer to the mark, a »encouragement to walk«. It came from my lack of interest in exercise, which had been slowly increasing over time. Not that I was a lazybones from the very beginning, my derrière only became the strongest muscle in my body because of my working day and the stress – often self-inflicted – that came with it.
I didn't really have a jogger inside me trying to get out either, or the iron discipline needed to run round and round in circles, and I wasn't really a »fitness queen« who dressed perkily and went to the gym to burn calories either. I tried, but rationality was always drowned out by how I felt – message to brain, »my God, this is dull«. The TV on the gym wall didn't help much either, it was boring at home and it was boring in the gym too. So I started walking. I started in the evenings, through the avenues of my local area, aimlessly, following my nose, only deciding which way to go as I came to each crossing. Suddenly I was having fun, a lot of fun in fact, because my taste for discovery had been reawakened. Each strange courtyard had to be inspected, the people passing by had to be analysed and every tiny detail
investigated with childish inquisitiveness. The walks became longer, further, took me to districts and areas which all had exciting and unique characteristics. Whether noble and overdecorated or run down and disconsolate – this city is rich in tableaux that remain forever hidden to »nonpedestrians«. Within Döbling, Favoriten, Donaustadt and Fünfhaus there are worlds that make Vienna its own multifaceted planet. My »walking trip« didn't just get me in condition, as I had originally wanted, but also changed the way I thought. My constantly whirling thoughts became peaceful – a liberation for a notorious »thinker« like me – and I was able to concentrate more. My faith in people awoke from its deep sleep – thanks to the many pleasant meetings and conversations I had – and I became a real people person! The most important discovery I made through »walking« was how little it takes to be happy. Though I won't be going into detail, because firstly it is probably an individual thing, and secondly it seems a little too spiritual for a book like this. ;-) Around two years ago I began to record my »walking trips«. On the one hand this was because more and more people were asking for »tips for trips« after hearing my stories, and on the other hand I wanted to document Vienna and its surrounding's special places. I began for a small group of interested people, then in a few forums, and now it's simply time for this book. It doesn't matter whether you follow the routes, get ideas for your own routes, or if you just get excited about walking.
LETS GO! YOURS
I would also like to thank my loved ones: my daughter Marlene, who always has to listen to her mother's crazy stories, my friend Patricia, who always generously accompanies me, Doris and Ruven, who encouraged me to keep going, and very special thanks to my grandmother Hilda Kastner, who passed on her expertise about, and love of Vienna – through the most wonderful stories a child could ever wish to hear!
WILDURB – THE COMMUNITY
One, two, three, six hundred Urbs .. WildUrb is very fertile. Every new »fellow traveller« at www.wildurb.at is a kick for the two mothers of this community, Jine Knapp and Doris Rittberger. New, tracks (routes), points (places), and interviews with people with unusual life stories (UrbTV) are published here all the time. There are also plans for alternative news, to give a platform to opinions that are ignored by the mainstream media. To put it in a nutshell, everything to help you find your own way!
Fierce hor n
SO WHAT IS A WILDURB EXACTLY?
The Urb is always on the move on two feet. Journeying, to keep moving, to meet new people, and to widen their horizons.
There are many other idiosyncratic things about them too. They are a bit wild (a synonym for original, archaic, primal), but they still do OK in an urban environment. They can only smile at the rules of the dominant society, with their focus on performance and their ideals – material possessions and power. The WildUrb knows deep down however, that all this isn't going to make them happy. They don't want to be part of this game any more. That's why they are seeking the primal way of life, when people had to walk to find nourishment, and needed a community to survive. It was important to understand the laws of nature, to live in a symbiotic relationship with them, and to keep learning by closely observing them.
This doesn't seem to be as important now as it was then, but the urb sees things differently. They walk anyway, to discover their environment, to get into its rhythm,
to exercise their body and mind, to understand plants and animals, and also to gain a deeper insight into themselves. They like it when they meet other people on the way, because by listening to their stories they can increase their own knowledge. The WildUrb doesn't need much in their bag, because who wants to carry a heavy backpack? Material possessions never made them happy anyway, because they were much more interested in following their calling, satisfying their creative urges, losing themselves in love, or just having fun. Sometimes they treat themselves with a short pause for refreshments, a little nap or plant a fruit tree at the edge of the path for future wanderers. The Urb searches for answers, they are a thorn in the side of the powerful, because who wants to let themselves be patronized? They want to live free, so they can develop without being controlled by the background lobby that just wants its own questionable objectives. It is important to the wildurb to scrutinise these authorities and resist them if necessary, but without violence. And they treat the mass media the same. The Urb tries to see through their manipulative ways. The Urb realised long ago that they are being spammed with rubbish and the real issues are being drowned out by the miasma of news. But the Urb has internal defences, they aren't puppets, they want to form their own view of the world. What about science? The urb is an inconvenient researcher. The Urb gets furious when medical issues are reported that turn out to be corporate advertising, or when inconsistencies in human history are left uncorrected due to arrogance. They know that many amazing scientists are excluded from academia, because they won't dance to the tune, and Urbs don't dance either. They remain open to different perspectives, so they can get nearer to the truth. So are you a little bit Urb?
Or do you just want to explore this city and its surroundings, be intoxicated by its diversity, get to know the Viennese soul, enjoy special places, and enrich your life with innumerable influences?
Whatever the answer – the most important thing is to keep moving... The Urbs would like to thank their many fellow travellers for all their support, both mental and with text, revisions and advice. Without them this book would never have become what it is: Wolfgang Auer, Oliver Beinlich, Martin Blumenau, Michaela Ernst, Roland Düringer, Franz Galla, Ernst Gehmacher, Roland Girtler, Karl Grasl, Sandra Kietreiber, Reinhard Knapp, Hermann Knoflacher, Dagmar Koller, Vincenco Lembo, Paul Petronczki, Baldur Preiml, Gregor Sieböck, Robert Sonnleitner, Heini Staudinger, Stefan Sternbacher and Tourismusverband Wien;
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GREEN CRAVINGS l u f e c a e p h g u o r h t h t A pwaoodland, accompanied by lwi d boars and bats! TRACKINFO Circuit: Nikolaitor via Grünauer Teich, Rohrhaus and Wiener Blick Length: 8.33km Start point: Nikolaitor 1130 Vienna, Himmelhofgasse 100 Coordinates: 48°11'53.70"N, 16°15'10.30"E Public transport: U4, S15, S45 > Hütteldorf station (10min by foot to Nikolaitor)
The Urbs entered the Lainzer Tiergarten animal park through the creaky wooden door, and we immediately got the impression that we were in the middle of the forest. This track isn't really unknown, and it isn't the most exciting either, but there are plants and animals aplenty. We meet wild boar and beautiful red deer, specially in late afternoon. We saw stag beetles and great capricorn beetles, a rare beetle that can only be found on mighty oak trees. And the bats, which can be seen around the Grünauer pond are fascinating, including Daubenton's bats, Gattung Nyctalus and Brant's bat.
The path is also very nice to walk along, and the many meadows are an invitation to play or picnic.
HISTORY The wildlife preserve reached its present extent under Emperor Joseph II. The wall around the preserve was constructed between 1782 and 1787.
The construction project was led by the mason
Go through the Nikolaitor, and then go straight away right on the asphalt path, right alongside the animal park wall. Keep going for a while and the track will turn gently and take you ever deeper into the forest. Keep following the asphalt path, over wooden bridges till Kastanienallee. The first big meadow is on the right, and it's worth taking a detour here to the Grünauer pond.
Philipp Schlucker. His bid for the work was so low that the people of Vienna were afraid he would impoverish himself, although this didn't happen. People still say »armer Schlucker« [poor Schlucker], and this comes from that time. From 1919 the park was opened to the public at the weekend, but when it was given its preserve status in 1941, the public were no longer allowed entry. It was reopened in 1955, and has developed into a very popular attraction for trips and walks. The external wall is today 22 kilometres long and there is
Back on the asphalt path, go past the picnic places, play fields and places to feed the wildlife, till you reach a large fork in
a route that goes all the way round, for keen walkers.
you get ten cents per kilo of chestnuts (collected outside the preserve).
Every October there is an event where people collect chestnuts for the Lainzer Tiergarten animals –
OAKS: DEAD OR ALIVE – A SOUGHT-AFTER HABITAT The woodland on the preserve is mostly oak, beech, some forest fruit (wild cherry, wild service tree) and undergrowth (lilly of the valley, liverwort, wild garlic). The Oak however is unique in that it provides a home for a great diversity of animals. Up to 1,000 types of insects can be found in one tree's crown. Healthy oak trees provide
the path with a little shelter. Here, follow the sign for Rohrhaus. After a steep climb, Rohrhaus with play areas and sunbathing area comes into sight. At the top of the hill, follow the signs for Nikolaitor, which is well signposted from here. The path continues past the entrance to Wiener Blick, a meadow (Bader-Wiese) with a wonderful panorama view!
a habitat for innumerable birds, such as woodpeckers, tawny owls, and tits. Of course mammals such as squirrels and bats can also be found. Even oak deadwood is a necessity for beetles, butterflies, bees and wasps. People should avoid the trees in May and June however, because the
Back on the gravel path here, we carry on through the forest towards the exit gate. When we get down there we go past the Nikolai-Kapella and a forest play area before the exit can once again be seen.
poisonous hairs of the oak processionary caterpillar break off easily at this time of year and can cause an uncomfortable rash. Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae29
Grünauer Teich – with a bit of luck you can not only see birds here, but at dusk also bats! Book a tour, or if you're really wild: get locked in.
AREA TIPS Nikolaitor opening times February, March and October: 9am to 6pm April – September: 8am to 8pm Longer some summer days; closed in winter Bat tour Tracking the animal park creatures together with a bat expert. Phone: +43-1-8043169 to arrange a tour Gasthof Rohrhaus (Tavern) Plain fair and hunter's dishes 1130 Vienna, Lainzer Tiergarten Restaurant Stephan Organic food and drink! 1130 Vienna, Auhofstraße 224 Play areas: Nikolaiwiese and Rohrhaus Skatepark: Schimon-Park (Auhofstraße 262)
m r a w s s t a b , k s u d At through the air here.
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COLOURFUL CONTRASTS Alonlogwinthge fWroimen,urban subc.ulture f agnificent decadence to m TRACKINFO Hike route: Wienzeile via Dunklergasse, Gürtel, Naschmarkt and Karlsplatz Length: 4.29km Start point: Bruno-Pittermann-Platz (underground station Längenfeldgasse) Coordinates: 48°11'3.05"N, 16°20'2.34"E Public transport: U4, U6 > Längenfeldgasse station (Exit Storchengasse)
Backpack fastened, this time full of expectation, rather than provisions, in hopes of finding treasures and rarities at Naschmarkt, the city flea market, and food market, it's name literally translates as »Nosh Market«. We Urbs have decided beforehand however, to make a real journey of discovery out of it. The route takes us through the subculture around the Gürtel, the Vienna ring road, past the ostentatious buildings of the Wienzeile and icons of Art Nouveau, all the way to the Karlskirche church, a prime example of baroque architecture. But the atmosphere along the route is just as varied as the architecture. A city wilderness given
over to nature, lonely streets and squares, roaring traffic, any number of places to do sport (skateboarding, basketball, football, & volleyball), colourful crowds and couples making out, but also the stillness of the church and recreational parks are all to be found here. Our only true companions, that stay with us for the whole journey, are the pigeons, white, black, grey and brown, iridescent and scruffy.
HISTORY Wienzeile – this is where the wealthy of the city at the turn of the century built their residences. It grew into an architecturally interesting backdrop, which ranged from German romanticism to supercharged Neo-Baroque, all mixed with curious Art Nouveau elements. Domes, roofs, corner towers and balconies – all richly decorated with ornaments, sculptures, masks and coats of arms. Unfortunately many of these imposing buildings were cleared in the 50s craze for
modernisation, but luckily part of their style has
Behind the first underground station, Längenfeldgasse, at the start of Storchengasse, you find Bruno-Pittermann-Platz. Cross the square in the direction of the river and walk as far as the underground station's second entrance. Turn into the narrow street behind this building, the
remained. At the end of Wienzeile (No. 38) there is an Art Nouveau building by Otto Wagner with interesting, gilded medallions by Kolo Moser. The crowning glory of this journey back in time is the Secession, built in 1898 by Josef Olbrich, with its eye-catching golden »Krauthäupl« (cabbage head).
Full of red hammocks, to cradle your soul. In the summer there is an open air cinema too.
Hot tip, Bruno Kreisky Park is here! Nestling between the ring road and Wienzeile, but charming!
SAUERKRAUT & PICKLED GHERKIN – DELICACIES AT NASCHMARKT If you like cooking with seasonal fruit, vegetables, and herbs, either because of the environment, or to support local farmers, Naschmarkt has just what you need. You also meet local characters here, such as »Gurken-Leo« [Gherkin Leo] with his barrels of sauerkraut and pickled gherkins, who likes nothing better than chatting about how important his wares once were. And he's absolutely right, because before globalisation sauerkraut was the most important source of vitamins (A, B, C, K) in the local region and prevented all the diseases associated with malnutrition through the winter. It is also low in calories, has almost no fat and cleans the intestine. The international foods at Naschmarkt are also well worth a look, and help keep wanderlust at bay.
street called Dunklergasse, and keep close to the underground wall, until you reach a way down on the left. Go through, passing the basketball court until you reach the Gaudenzdorfer Gürtel overpass. Cross this and hike through the green spaces in the direction of the Margaretengürtel underground station. Turn gently right over Margaretengürtel. This brings you to BrunoKreisky-Park, where the Wien can be seen flowing again at the end, and which you can simply follow from now on. Go past the Pilgramgasse underground station through Naschmarkt, until you reach the Secession. Cross Operngasse here, in the direction of Kunsthalle, which you pass, and then go down into Resselpark and then follow along the face of Karlskirche. Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae22
Everyone knows about the Saturday flea market at Pilgrambrücke, but from 5pm too? There is so much stuff left behind, it really makes you feel creative!
AREA TIPS Naschmarkt opening times Weekdays: 6am to 6:30pm Saturday: 6am to 5pm Flohmarkt: Saturday 6:30am to 6pm Opportunities for sport on route 1. Skate- & Basketballcourt, Dunklergasse 15 2. Sportkäfige, Gaudenzdorfer-Gürtel 51 (The cage championships take place here!) Colombo Hoppers (Restaurant) Exotic delicacies from Sri Lanka 1050 Vienna, Schönbrunner Straße 84 Book: Auf dem Naschmarkt Achim Schneyder and Rudolf Semotan An ABC of the Naschmarkt, also for those who know it well, ISBN: 3854314809
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Coordinates: 48°05'00.73"N, 16°16'44.54"E
A »greenhorn Urb« from the Alps sometimes feels a terrible yearning for the mountains. So we decided, as a sort of substitute, to climb Kalenderberg from the Klausen side. And it was worth the effort. The distance is short, but you go most of the way between craggy rocks and fragrant pines, past amazing views. It makes you feel like you are hiking over alpine paths. Small caves, massive rocks and lots of places for a proper snack are easy to find.
Public transport: S9 > Mödling station Q Citybus 1 > Babenbergergasse stop
TRACKINFO Circuit: Kalenderberg via Kursalon, Schwarzer Turm and Mödlinger Klausen Length: 3.14km Start point: Kursalon Mödling events hall 2340 Mödling, Brühler Straße 19
Kursalon Mödling, under the aqueduct, is the start point for this route. Cross Brühler Straße here. Go left until some stone steps
appear between two houses. A sign here points towards the entrance to the Schwarzer Turm (Black Tower). Go up the steps, to the highest point of the hike, a large curve of wall with a beautiful view of Mödling.
HISTORY Kalenderberg, where we are hiking on the south side, is part of the Föhrenberg natural park. Finds from the neolithic period and late ice age indicate that the area was inhabited from very early times, and can be seen in the Mödling museum. In 1807
From here, you go left (orientate yourself by staying as close as possible to the rock face) and you come to the Schwarzer Turm, and the plateau behind. Go along the path that runs parallel to where the cliff drops away, and keep heading in the direction of Vorderbrühl. After a while you reach the entrance to the Kanzel, a view point with no walls, out over a large ledge in the cliff. (The entrance – a stone bridge – is quite hidden, and is easier to find by exploring the small paths that lead to the cliff face.)
prince Johann I bought Kalenderberg, which was completely bare, and began to green the entire area at great expense and with great effort by adding earth and watering by hand. The usually rare European black pines on the craggy rocks grew into powerful trees and are now reminiscent of an alpine landscape. The mountain is given variety by all the many niches, grottoes, and shallow caves – like Grammeltonlhöhle of legend – and its artificial ruins, such as the black tower, amphitheatre, Roman wall, and a former chapel called »Pfefferbüchsel«.
offers training especially for handle and foothold climbers.
The Robert via ferrata, right on the main track from the Kursalon Mödling (Neuweg),
CLEAR AS GLASS – VIENNA'S WONDERFUL WATER Originally Vienna got its water from domestic wells. But without a sewerage system the ground water quality fell steadily and epidemics became more common, and so the K.K. Stadthalterei (Royal and Imperial Public Works Department) began constructing the first Hochquellenwasserleitung (mountain spring pipeline) in 1869. High ground was surmounted, tunnels were cut, and aqueducts built to bring pure water to the city from springs in the Rax and Schneeberg mountains (Kaiser-
After visiting the Kanzel, go back up the main path towards Vorderbrühl, until you arrive in a valley. Now you go through some houses in the direction of Mödling, until you come to the road, which you cross. (There are lots of places to cross, the important thing is to get to the other side of Klausen). You then come to a wide forest path (with a bus stop at the entrance) where a stream runs at the side. Follow the direction of the stream back to the start point.
brunnen, Stixensteinquelle). The first Viennese mountain spring pipeline is the first water supply with modern-standard drinking water that is still in use, and the aqueduct at the start of the Möd-
As you go, you will see steps to Robert Karpfen Klettersteig and the Kurpark which are also adjacent to the Kursalon.
ling stretch is part of this construction project. The quality of Viennese water is definitely unique among cities.
Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae21
The Kanzel (pulpit) – a peaceful little place with nice views for undisturbed pleasure! Behind in the woods there are potholes to be discovered, and the legendary Grammeltonlhöhle cave is nearby.
AREA TIPS Robert Karpfen Klettersteig A cliff face, that is free to climb (primarily for climbing wall climbers) 2340 Mödling, Kursalon Promenadenweg Theater im Bunker – a theatrical ghost train in an old bunker 2340 Mödling, Luftschutzstollen Brühler Straße Friends – Cook & Eat Barbecue Roast and baste delicious creations with friends, right at the table, at Austria's first table cooking restaurant! 2340 Mödling, Babenbergerstraße 24/1
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Coordinates: 48°10'1.01"N, 16°15'23.49"E
It's hard to find something more luxurious for a Sunday afternoon. Well rested, and equipped with a picnic basket, the Urbs march towards Lainzer Tor to laze about in the open air for once. This route has loads of clearings, both shady and sunny, to offer. The path is level and easy to master (no obstacles) and there are lots of impressive things to see. The fairytale gardens and lush spaces of Hermesvilla take us to another time, and red deer, feral sheep and wild cattle are a pleasure to watch.
Public transport: 60B > Lainzer Tor stop (stop is directly by the entrance)
TRACKINFO Circuit: Lainzer Tor visitor centre via the Hohenauer pond and Hermesvilla Length: 2.48km Start point: Lainzer Tor 1130 Vienna, Hermesstraße 13
Through Lainzer Tor, you end up in a small area with a visitor centre. Here take the straight, asphalt path (continuing from the
gate entrance). An animal enclosure with various red deer should be on your right, and a children's play area on the left. Follow this path straight on for a little way, till a small path through the fields, which leads to the Hohenauer pond, goes off to the left. The pond is teeming with carp, and they are all hungry ;-). There are hungry ducks here too, but they hardly have a chance against the carp.
HISTORY Hermesvilla is located on a former imperial hunting preserve called Lainzer Tiergarten. Franz Joseph gave the villa to his wife Elisabeth, the legendary Sissi, as a present, the ÂťPalace of DreamsÂŤ. The small palace, which gets its name from the statue of Hermes in the garden commissioned by the empress, was built by the architect Carl von Hasenauer from 1882 to 1886. The villa is a typical example of late romantic villa architecture. Today many special exhibitions
Back on the wide asphalt path, go a little bit further on, until another path opens up on the left, which goes past the aurochs enclosure. At the end of the path, take the right, which takes you back to the wide main path (signposted Hermesvilla). You go past another clearing, to the entrance to the Hermesvilla court yard.
on cultural history can be seen at Hermesvilla, along with imperial furniture and a nice collection of period fashion. The interiors also include paintings by Hans Makart, Gustav Klimt and Viktor Tilgner. It's impossible to find anywhere easier to enjoy both nature and culture in the same place.
in Europe, are on show. Incidentally, Sissi's bed is also on display â€“ just look how big it is :-)!
In the Hermesvilla Museum attic a selection of models from their collection, one of the biggest
THE AUROCHS – BACK FROM EXTINCTION The aurochs is the ancestor of European domestic cattle. Their original appearance was reconstructed based on cave paintings and bone finds. They were over three meters long from nose to tail, and up to 1.9 metres high with a weight of more
You will probably enjoy a tour round the gardens, and afterwards the way leads back out through the door opposite the entrance. Then we go over a small bridge, and come to a fork in the path where you go straight ahead (there are lots of signs, but none say »Lainzer Tor«).
than a metric ton, making it the most powerful land animal in Europe until the last ice age. They inhabited the open woodland and ate grass, leaves, and acorns. The last aurochs died in Poland in 1627, but then the Heck brothers began trying to recreate the aurochs in the 30s, creating an animal that is very similar to the extinct creature in many of its characteristics. On the way to the Hermesvilla, you can see the amazing return of
Now we take a long sweeping turn to the right, passing another field where animals can be fed, to arrive at a sign – Lainzer Tor-Naturlahrpfad (nature trail). You can take this trail if you like (seeing feral sheep and fallow deer enclosures), or carry on along the wide asphalt path, which leads at last back to Lainzer Tor.
this extinct species. Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae23
Fancy an imperial picnic? The lawns are just crying out for fresh crusty Kaiser rolls! If you want to treat yourself to a little luxury – Cafe Hermesvilla puts a nice picnic basket together.
AREA TIPS Lainzer Tor opening times February, March and October: 9am to 6pm April – September: 8am to 8pm November to January: 9am to 5pm Wild herbs tour The secrets of Austria's herbs are revealed, with an introduction to how they can be used. Phone: +43-1-8043169 to arrange a tour Restaurant Cafe Hermesvilla Good Viennese cuisine, coffee and cakes 1130 Vienna, Hermesstraße 209 Wien Museum Hermesvilla Temporary exhibitions and an insight into life for the imperial family away from court. We particularly recommend the collection of clothes in the attic.
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URBAN MOODS A tnooufrficrioaulnd»VCieennntara'sl Panrek«! u the Twin Towers skyli with TRACKINFO Circuit: Wienerberg via Wienerbergteich, Lehmteich and Kastanienalleeteich Length: 4.28km Start point: Grohnergasse 1100 Vienna, Grohnergasse 1 Coordinates: 48° 9'30.77"N, 16°20'40.51"E Public Transport: 16A > Otto-Probst-Straße stop (2min to start point by foot)
It's a really »urbie feeling« to stand in the Wienerberg recreation area. My eyes sweep over the still waters, to beds of reeds and belts of green, and in the background, on to the horizon, and the Vienna woods on the hill – and right in the centre of the scene – to the imposing buildings of Vienna Business Park, with its twin towers. At this moment the skyline reminded me a bit of New York, and I immediately named it »Vienna's unofficial Central Park«. Wienerberg is actually split in two by the Triester-Straße main road. This walk will limit itself to the eastern part, which has the clay pools formerly used in brick manufacture. Swimming is allowed in the
big pond, but the water quality falls pretty quickly in the summer, just use your nose. ;-). There is nothing to worry about for swimmers, according to the city authorities. There are lots of spots for a picnic and a lie down on Wienerberg. There are places to play football, beach volleyball and streetball, and a herb garden and apple tree (delicious fruit!) can also be found there.
HISTORY Vienna's arsenal, main customs office and the Semmering train all have something in common: they were built from the bricks of the clay-rich earth of Wienerberg. From Roman times to the 1960s, this area was primarily dedicated to brick manufacture. The high point of clay extraction at Wienerberg was reached with the construction of the national brickworks by Maria Theresia. The Wienerberger company developed from this im-
A little bit further to the west, you can find a golf course and Vienna Business Park, which were both built on what was once Vienna's biggest rubbish dump, which is still leaking mercury and other toxins into the groundwater today.
perial factory, and is today an international supplier. There were also dark years on Wienerberg too. The exploitation of the brick workers began around 1870 â€“ they received only contractor's fees. This often led to to working hours of up to 20h per day, and even children were required to work. In 1960, extraction became uneconomic and the
Increased levels of methane have also been measured at the dump surface. So don't
city authorities began the transformation of the existing Âťrubbish dumpÂŤ into a recreation area.
Afterwards there's strudel, compote, apple in a nightshirt... (recipe on the next page).
On Wienerberg it's not impossible to pick apples in the city, in August the trees are crying out for it!
pick fruit here, swim, or go to sleep for any length of time ;-).
APPLE IN A NIGHTSHIRT – SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS An old delicious recipe, and cheap too! The »nightshirt« refers to the pastry jacket the apple
»slips into«. These are the ingredients for four
The start point is in Grohnergasse, which leads out directly into Friedrich-Adler-Weg. Go to the right a little bit here, and take the first left into the area. Go straight ahead to a small wooden bridge. Cross this (to the left) and start to go round a pond. It doesn't make a big difference whether you follow the map here (right side), or instead follow your nose. The most interesting points are marked clearly on the map anyway.
portions: 1 egg, 120g flour, 1/4 litre milk, 4 apples, salt, cinnamon and icing sugar 1. Prepare the pastry in a bowl using flour, egg, milk and a pinch of salt, and whisk it briskly. 2. Remove the apple cores, cut the flesh into 1.5cm thick slices, and dip them in the pastry. 3. Fry the apples in hot oil until golden, then remove them from the pan and dab with kitchen roll. 4. Lay them on the plate, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and enjoy them!
Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae89
On the banks of Wienerbergteich – here you can relax, keep a look out for European pond turtles, or enjoy a picnic with a view of the peaceful waters.
AREA TIPS Favoriten Water Tower Pure industrial history. Since 2011 there has also been a great water experience world! 1100 Vienna, Windtenstraße 3 Spinnerin am Kreuz The gothic column of Michael Knab, which was erected for the crusades, was the site of the medieval high court. It is also believed that this was a place of execution, as numerous skeletons of hanged people were found under George-WashingtonHof when it was built. 1100 Vienna, Triester Straße 52-54
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SILENT VOICES s, e v a r g s u o i r u c t s a p Walak nd dive into the old Jewish cemetery. TRACKINFO Circuit: gate 3 (Tor 3) via Park der Ruhe+Kraft, noble graves and the old Jewish cemetery Length: 5.07km Start point: Zentralfriedhof (Cemetery) gate 3, 1110 Vienna, Simmeringer Hauptstr. 240 Coordinates: 48° 9'8.37"N, 16°26'53.17"E Public transport: 6, 71 > Zentralfriedhof Tor 3 stop (stop is right at entrance)
Morbid mood, despite the bright sunshine – what could be healthier for an Urb, than getting straight on the 6, and going to the end of the line, Vienna's biggest cemetery. Slightly unhinged by all the screaming at Vienna's many open-air swimming places, I decided that silence would be just what the doctor ordered, and my first objective was the Park der Ruhe und Kraft (The Recreation and Power Gardens). Which are very interesting, if you are into magic, and on top of that a marvellous place to get some sun or chill out in the shade. Another treat was that I was accompanied along the whole way by black-bellied hamsters, which regard Zentralfriedhof as more
of good place to live, rather than a resting place. And they are right. The further along the route you go, the more curious the graves become, especially where the nobles are buried. The people buried here are a real cross section of Viennese »society«. The most beautiful part is however the old Jewish cemetery. Overgrown, weather beaten and fallen grave stones have an enigmatic aura, even in day light. Woooooooooo ;-) At dusk, this morbid atmosphere reaches perfection. Let's urb!
HISTORY Today's »Old Jewish Cemetery« was bought from the city of Vienna by the Jewish community in 1877. A magnificent ceremonial hall used to be just inside gate 1, but was consumed by flames on Kristallnacht [the night of broken glass] in 1938. The ruins stood until 1978, when they were finally demolished. During the Nazi period, all the Jewish cemeteries were disappropriated, it was to be kept as a »museum«, and the only »park« where Jewish people could spend time. Between group 8 and 19 you can see gravestones that still have shrapnel marks from World War 2. There are
many graves of nobles in the 800 metre long
Through gate 3 of Zentralfriedhof, and straight ahead to just before the first intersection – here on the right, you will find the inconspicuous entrance to the Park der Ruhe und Kraft. After taking a look, we
ceremonial walk that leads from gate 1, for example the graves of Salomon Sulzer, Baron Königswarter, Arthur Schnitzler, Viktor Frankl, Friedrich Torberg, Gerhard Bronner and the Rothschild family.
the elements and follow the ley lines, or just read a good book in peace!
The Park der Ruhe und Kraft – here you can let go, recharge, try to commune with
RECHARGE – IN THE PARK »DER RUHE UND KRAFT« The park »Der Ruhe und Kraft« (peace and energy park) is set out according to the old geomantic (foresight by earth) tradition and that of garden design. Here you can get into contact with the forces of nature, the plants and flowers, the stones and the earth. It is a preparation for letting the past go, and for starting a new fulfilling life. Ancient symbols from our cultural history are meant to help increase understanding of your own life history, and our journey through life. Along the way, you can read comments which explain the different areas. It is very good for the human energy system to cross the park following the numbered sequence, with stepping stones indicating the recommended way. I've no idea what would happen if you went the opposite way.
go back to the park entrance, and follow the deserted paths further to the start of group 40 (the rich and famous, including Falco). On the path between group 35b and 41b, turn right and keep straight ahead, past the memorial, the BorromäusKirche church and the graves of the nobility (a detour among them is well worth the time) until you have arrived among the graves of the old Jewish cemetery. Here it's a good idea to just roam around, as some of the most beautiful gave stones are to be found among the undergrowth. As long as you keep going north west, it is hard to get lost. Between group 5 and 8, the path leads past the Anatomie, and the old arcades, keep straight on back to the Park der Ruhe und Kraft. Track online: www.wildurb.at/ae32
When the sun sets, there's no more mysterious place for a walk than through the old Jewish cemetery. Before you do, read the story of the golem one more time, it adds a little shiver!
Adventurous, beautiful, relaxing, full of contrasts, cute and wild and woolly: Just walk. In and around Vienna. 178 pages, price: € 14,80,...