Wieden Sights Walking Tour (Self Guided), Vienna

Wieden is the 4th district of Vienna, it is near the center and also one of the oldest in the city. Although it was established as district only in 1850, it traces its roots all the way back to the 1100s, particularly its main street, by the same name. As the sight of the former royal residence of Ferdinand II, it is home to a number of wonderful historic landmarks and museums, as well as a number of select shops and cafes.
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Wieden Sights Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Wieden Sights Walking Tour
Guide Location: Austria » Vienna (See other walking tours in Vienna)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Karlskirche
  • Vienna Philharmonic
  • Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station
  • Secession Building
  • Naschmarkt
  • Theater an der Wien
  • Cafe Drechsler
  • Majolica House

1) Karlskirche (must see)

This famous house of worship is located in Karlsplatz, Vienna, and is located just at the beginning of the First District. It sits about 200 meters from the Ringstrabe. The building represents one of Vienna’s finest examples of baroque style churches also. One of the really unique features of the place is its unusually shaped dome that sits atop the building. It is elongated in form.

The location has really become a very popular tourist attraction in recent times. This is due to the unusual styling of the building, and the contrast that it paints to other buildings in the area. The church is managed by a local Catholic order, but is still the local parish church for the area. It is also the home of the student ministry to the Vienna University of Technology. So, besides being an architectural marvel, it is also still quite functional.

History tells us that Emperor Charles VI ordered the building of the church in order to fulfill a vow he made to God. The black plague was striking Vienna hard in the early 1700s, so the Emperor made a promise that he would build a church and name it after St. Charles Borromeo, who was well known for caring for people who suffered from the plague. In exchange, he asked God to relieve the city of the disease.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Vienna Philharmonic

2) Vienna Philharmonic (must see)

The Wiener Philharmoniker is one of the most famous orchestras in the world and is consistently considered one of the finest. All of its members come from the ranks of the Vienna State Opera (VSO), and cannot even apply to the Philharmoniker until they have played for at least three years with the VSO. Until very recently, only men could ever hope to have a chance of playing with the famous Vienna Philharmonic.

Formed in 1842 as the Philharmonische Academie under the baton of Otto Nicolai, this is an interesting organization. All members have a vote in decisions about the orchestra, although there is an administrative committee made up of 12 orchestra members who generally handle the day-to-day administrative functions. There are paid support staff positions as well to carry out the day to day details as dictated by the orchestra. Conduction is done by guest conductors as there is no regular subscription conductor.

The unique sound is due to several factors, but probably one of the most important is the string section. All stringed instruments belong to the Philharmoniker, not the individual member. Some of these instruments have been played for centuries and in fact, four violins made by Stradivari are currently part of the mixture. Instruments are very carefully selected so that their unique sound will blend well with the others.

The waiting list for season tickets can be years long; however, there are a few tickets available for some programs. When plans are being made for a visit to Vienna, be sure to check and see if there are any seats available.

Why You Should Visit:
The building is intricately beautiful and the tour, fascinating.
The area itself is very happening so you should be checking it out.

One must enter a computer lottery to win the chance to buy tickets for events, but it is well worth the effort.
One could also get a (cheaper) last-minute standing room ticket if one tries.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station

3) Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station

This building represents the original home of the Stadtbahn of Vienna. It was the station for many years. The buildings above the ground are considered to be prime examples of an architectural style known as Jegendstil. As such, they are also considered part of the Vienna Secession, and used many of the classic styles associated with that important movement in design. They are part of the heritage of Otto Wagner to the city.

The Stadtbahn buildings are well known for their modern look, and particularly for their steel framework and marble outside walls. For the architectural world, it was the perfect melding of form and function.

The original station was opened to the general public in 1899. In 1981, the old line was converted to the newer UBahn rail system. Originally, plans were made to destroy the old Stadtbahn station. However, a cry of outrage from the people of Vienna saved the building. So, in order to make the buildings function in the new rail system, they were completely dismantled, and re-assembled on a structure that was 7 feet taller than before, so that they could still be used with the more modern UBahn rail system. Nowadays, one of these old Wagner buildings is used as a museum.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Secession Building

4) Secession Building (must see)

The Vienna Secession refers to a group of young artisans who decided to start their own movement within the world of art. The style is very 'nouveau' and is a radical departure from the more traditional types of art being created during that part of Viennese history. The famous 'new start' occurred in 1897, but Secessionism really took off at the beginning of the 20th century, when a fair bit of work from the group became part of the famous Belvedere Collection.

A building and exhibition hall designed by Joseph Olbrich was also established in 1897 as the 'headquarters' of the group. It is now the home for some of the most famous pieces of art from the movement's member such as Klimt and Frieze. The Viennese venue was actually chosen in 2004 to appear on the 100 euro coin, along with more information about the famous Secessionist group.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting especially if you're a fan of Klimt, with the Beethoven Frieze as the biggest highlight – one of the architectural pieces you'll never forget!
The building's facade is quite stunning as well and you can see many tourists stand across the busy main road taking pictures.

The audio guide is very useful here; much easier to sit and listen as you look at each section than having to read explanatory notes.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

5) Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt is Vienna's most popular market located at the Wienzeile, over the Wien River and stretches for over 1 kilometer, from Vienna Secession building to Kettenbrückengasse. A food market on weekdays, where you can buy any fresh fruit and vegetables from around the world, on Saturdays it becomes Vienna's biggest flea market. Here you can find anything a flea can offer, from furniture and home decorations to old clothes and vintage collectables. About 400 vendors offer paintings, porcelain, silverware, glassware, old photos, cameras, books, clocks, toys, LP's and junk from the attic. With magnificent Art Nouveau buildings as a backdrop, Naschmarkt is Vienna's must-see destination for both antique treasure hunting and Austrian culinary delights.

Operation Hours Every Saturday: 8 am - 5 pm
Theater an der Wien

6) Theater an der Wien

The Theater an der Wien may seem to be misnamed, however, the Wien river used to flow just beside the theater. The river was covered over and the Naschmarkt, the wonderful farmers market now occupies that area. To feel what it looked like at that time, enter from the Millöckergasse and imagine the river where the marketplace is. Confusing name aside, the theater is absolutely beautiful and should not be missed.

The rich history of the building begins with its inception by Emanuel Schikaneder who collaborated with Mozart on The Magic Flute. The building was completed in 1801 and was spectacularly appointed and had a huge stage to accommodate large sets. There have been ups and downs for this venue, but the good news is the building has been restored and again is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The acoustics are magnificent and operas are again being performed here along with concerts and contemporary productions.

Be sure to note the nod to Schikaneder over the entrance at the Papagenogate. The man and the three children are Schikaneder and his three boys portraying Papageno from The Magic Flute. Also be sure to see the memorial to Beethoven who lived in the Theater whilst working on Fidelio, his only opera.

Tours are around € 7 and are a wonderful way to get the entire history and see backstage areas.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cafe Drechsler

7) Cafe Drechsler

Cafe Drechsler offers traditional Viennese cuisine and a large assortment of fine coffees. This popular spot attracts a diverse crowd of club-goers, as it is open 23 hours a day. Its stylish facade was created by well-known British designer, Sir Terence Conran.
Majolica House

8) Majolica House (must see)

The so-called Majolica house is the inspiration of the legendary architect and designer Otto Wagner. The building is located at Linke Wienzeile 38 and number 40. Wagner designed the complex during his secessionist phase of design. The name of the building derives from the tile flower patterns on the outside façade which embellish the place with beautiful shades of green, blue and pink. No. 38 is offset in a golden color, and is adorned in medallions, designed to complement the flowers on the other side.

Wagner made this new style of architecture famous for its simple, yet elegant design. Exterior walls were left smooth and flat, and windows typically became less ordained than in previous Viennese styles of architecture. The simple, clean look was meant, in some fashion, to be representative of how clean and simple the apartment complexes were on the inside of the building.

The structures were built in the year 1899. At the time, Wagner was studying in the more formal style in Vienna. In fact, his commission to do this early work was made possible by members of a local guild of classical designers. Wagner ended up turning that world upside down when he made the decision to do the building design in this more modern style. It would end up being his hallmark throughout his entire design career.

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Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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