We have put together the most important information about the famous sights and famous people of the city of Vienna for you in our glossary.
The Albertinais part of the Imperial Palace in the centre of Vienna.It houses the largest and most important graphics collection in the world that includes approximately 65,000 drawings and over a million old master prints.The scope of the exhibits on show and in the archive ranges from late Gothic to contemporary art.The name “Albertina” originates from its founder Duke Albert Kasimir von Saxen-Teschen.
We would be glad to guide you through the exhibitions in the Albertina and other museums in Vienna.
definition:Alma Mahler-Werfel / writer and composer
* 31.08.1879 Vienna † 11.12.1964 N.Y.
Alma Mahler-Werfel was one of the most fascinating as well as one the most controversial women of the twentieth century.With the reputation of a desirable femme fatale, she was the wife of the composer Gustav Mahler, the architect Walter Gropius and the poet Franz Werfel as well as being the mistress of the painter Oskar Kokoschka and other prominent men.She surrounded herself with artists and other famous people in her artistic salons.Mahler-Werfel’s portrait was painted many times and she is immortalized through her music.
You can find our more about Alma Mahler-Werfel on our tour: Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century
definition:Arnold Schönberg / composer
* 13.09.1874 Vienna † 13.07.1951 Los Angeles
As a predominantly self-taught musician Schönberg quickly developed his own distinct musical language – the twelve-tone technique.A circle that built up around Schönberg that included Alban Berg, Anton Webern and other students became known as the Second Viennese School.Schönberg also devoted himself intensely to painting, his 361 works encompass the genres self-portrait, portrait, landscape and stage design.
You will find out more on our tour Musical Vienna.
definition:Arthur Schnitzler / writer
* 15.05.1862 Vienna † 21.10.1931 Vienna
Arthur Schnitzler was the son of an upper class Jewish family and practised medicine before devoting himself entirely to his literary interests.Today Schnitzler is regarded as one of the most important Austrian writers of the turn of the century.His narratives and plays reflect a lively image of the society of Vienna at that time.Typical protagonists include officers, artists and sweet maids from the suburbs.
Find out more on our tour Vienna’s delicacies, “heurige” or wine taverns and coffee housesand Tombs, Crypts and the Vienna Central Cemetery.
This house has welcomed and still welcomes many great names.It boasts famous names not only on the stage but also in its décor and architecture, names that include Gottfried Semper and Gustav Klimt.Whether as part of a sight-seeing tour or to see a performance, avisit to the Burgtheateris always a fantastic experience.
We will help you to a better understanding of the Burgtheater on our tour Much Maligned but Loved Today.
definition:Egon Schiele / painter and graphic artist
* 12.06.1890 Tulln † 23.10.1918
Egon Schiele was one of the major artists of Viennese Modernism.He was accepted at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna at the age of 16.The first larger exhibition of his works was in 1909 at the International Kunstschau.His portraits, nudes, landscapes and cityscapes are characterised by the themes love and loneliness, life and death.
definition:Ernst Fuchs / painter, graphic artist, architect and musician
* 13.02.1930 Vienna
Together with Wolfgang Hutter, Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner and Anton Lehmden, Ernst Fuchs was one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, a movement in Austrian art closely linked with surrealism.His works include sculptures, opera sets, poetry and philosophical essays.In the 1990s Fuchs became increasing active as the designer of buildings such as the Fuchs Villa.
Find out more on our tour A Treasure Trove for Lovers of Art.
definition:Franz Schubert / composer
* 31.01.1797 Vienna † 19.11.1829 Vienna
Franz Peter Schubert was the son of a teacher; he grew up in the Viennese suburb of Lichtental and received his first music lessons from his father.The genre of the “lied” has a very special place in his extensive oeuvre.All together he composed around 600 lieder.In compliance with his last will Schubert was buried next to Ludwig van Beethoven in the village cemetery of Währing.
definition:Friedensreich Hundertwasser / painter
* 15.12.1928 Vienna † 19.02.2000
Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser celebrated his international breakthrough at the Biennale in Venice in 1962.Hundertwasser advocated peace, environmentalism, natural and humane architecture in a spectacular way (“nude lectures”).In addition to painting he was also active as a designer of buildings, stamps and posters.Hundertwasser died on board the Queen Elizabeth II and is buried in New Zealand.
Find out more on our tour Friedensreich Hundertwasser in Vienna.
definition:Gustav Klimt / painter, drawer and graphic artist
* 14.07.1856 Vienna-Baumgarten † 06.02.1918 Vienna
While still a student Klimt founded the “Company of Artists” together with his brother Ernst and his colleague Franz Match, they received considerable decoration commissions in the course of the construction of the Ringstraße.This was followed by the scandal of the faculty pictures, the world famous portraits of ladies and allegorical-symbolic works such as “the Kiss”.Klimt was a founding member and the first Director of the Vienna Secession.
definition:Gustav Mahler/ composer and conductor
* 07.07.1860 Kalischt † 18.05.1911 Vienna
At the start of his career Mahler worked as a conductor at various small theatres.After stays in Prague, Budapest and Hamburg he was finally given the yearned for position of Director of the k.k. Hofoper in Vienna, which enjoyed its heyday under his directorship.In spite of his great triumphs intrigues arose that led him to leave Vienna.The composer was married to Alma Schindler since 1902 and was the father of the sculptress Anna Mahler.
Find out more about Gustav Mahler on our tour Musical Vienna.
House of Music
definition:House of Music
The first Museum of Sound in the world, the House of Musicwas opened in the year 2000.The interactive and multimedia forms of presentation are fascinating.The program ranges from the beginnings of the human creation of sound right through to the present day.
On our tour Vienna – The City of Musicyou can follow us in the footsteps of the great composers who have left their mark on the musical life of the city.
The Hofburg zu Wien or Imperial Palace of Vienna was the residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna from the 13thcentury through to 1918 (with a few minor interruptions).The irregular complex that was continuously expanded during the course of around seven centuries also includes two religious buildings: the Imperial Chapel and the Church of the Augustinian Friars.
We guide you through the Imperial Palace on our tour: Imperial Vienna.
definition:Johann Strauß the Son / composer and conductor
* 25.10.1825 Vienna † 3.6.1899 Vienna
Johann Strauß went down in history as the “The Waltz King” thanks to unforgettable waltzes such as “The Blue Danube” or “Tales from the Vienna Woods”.Even his very first appearance in Dommayer’s Casino was an enormous success.Tours led him through the whole of Europe and North America.Inspired by Jaques Offenbach to compose operettas, the success of “die Fledermaus” (1874) instantly made him the “Creator of the Golden Viennese Operetta”.
definition:Joseph Haydn / composer
* 31.03.1732 Rohrau † 31.05.1809 Vienna
Along side Mozart and Beethoven, Joseph Haydn was the primary representative of Viennese classic music.He spent the largest part of his professional career as the court composer of Prince Esterházy. Haydn is regarded as the father of the new genres of Viennese classic music – the string quartet, the piano sonata and the symphony.He spent his last years in Vienna and London where he enjoyed great artistic and financial success.
Emperor Franz Joseph
definition:Franz Joseph I Emperor of Austria
* 18.8.1830 Vienna † 21.11.1916 Vienna
Franz Joseph succeeded his uncle Emperor Ferdinand I to the Imperial Throne of Austria after the turmoil of the 1948 revolution.He considered it his prime obligation to maintain the monarchy and went about this with an unwavering loyalty to duty.His reign was marked not only by the creation of the dual monarchy due to the “Ausgleich” with Hungary in 1867, agreement to a constitution and the outbreak of World War I in 1914,but also by the architectural development of his residential city with the demolition of the fortifications around the city and the building of the Ringstraße with all its monumental buildings.In 1854 he married his Bavarian cousin, the sixteen-year-old Princess Elisabeth known in the inner family circle as Sisi.
We tell you more about Emperor Franz Josef during our guided tours:Imperial Vienna, Hofburg – Imperial Palace – Imperial Apartments, Schönbrunn, the Imperial Crypt.
The burial placeof all rulers of the Habsburg dynasty since the beginning of the 17thcentury.This is where they lie, all those that helped shape the Austrian monarchy: Emperor Franz Joseph I, Crown Prince Rudolph as well as the unforgettable Empress Elisabeth, known as Sisi.
Find out more about the rulers of the Habsburg dynasty on our tour Vienna of the Dead.
definition:Elisabeth Empress of Austria
* 24.12.1837 Munich, † 10.09.1898 Geneva
Through her marriage to her cousin Emperor Franz Josef in 1854, Elisabeth – also called Sisi – from the House of Wittelsbach came to the Viennese court, where her life was made difficult by the very strict Spanish court etiquette and her mother-in-law the Archduchess Sophie.Sisi sought respite by travelling extensively, practising sports and indulging in beauty care – she was regarded as the most beautiful woman of her time. A real myth has grown up around the person of Sisi, not least due to her assassination in Geneva.
You can find out more about Elisabeth on our tours: Imperial Vienna, Hofburg – Imperial Palace – Imperial Apartments, Schönbrunn, the Imperial Crypt.
Empress Maria Theresia
definition:Maria Theresia Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary
* 13.05.1717 Vienna † 29.11.1780 Vienna
In 1740 Maria Theresia succeeded her father Emperor Charles VI on his sudden death as the first and only female ruler of the Habsburg dynasty.As an enlightened ruler she initiated the first steps towards modernising the administration, introduced compulsory schooling and abolished torture.She bore her husband Emperor Franz Stefan I of Lorraine 16 children, who she married off throughout Europe in a continuation of the traditional Habsburg marriage policy thus making herself the “Mother-in-law of Europe”.
On our guided tours the Imperial Vienna, Schönbrunn and the Imperial Crypt you will find out more about the Empress Maria Theresia.
St. Charles Church
definition:St. Charles Church
St. Charles Churchwhich was endowed by Emperor Charles VI is said to be the most magnificent church north of the Alps.It is consecrated to Saint Charles Borromeo.Visitors can go right up under the cupola in a lift installed specifically for this purpose, where they can marvel at the ceiling frescos from close up.
Explore the church on our tour The Secret Capital of the Baroque Style.
St. Leopold Church am Steinhof
definition:St. Leopold Church am Steinhof
The Saint Leopold Church am Steinhof was designed by the Art Nouveau architect Otto Wagner and ranks as one of the most beautiful works of the European Art Nouveau style.Recently restored, this jewel can now be seen by visitors in all its new splendour.
Get acquainted with this jewel of Art Nouveau architecture on our tour The Art Nouveau Psychiatric Clinic.
definition:Koloman Moser / painter, graphic artist and artisan
* 30.03.1868 Vienna † 18.10.1918 Vienna
Kolo Moser was one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession and started up the Wiener Werkstätte together with Josef Hofmann.Its aim was to save arts and crafts from the proliferation of industrial production.Kolo Moser designed furniture, posters, book illustrations and ranked among the major representatives of Viennese art at the turn of the century.The glass windows he created for the “St. Leopold Church am Steinhof”are among his most important of his works.
Art History Museum
definition:Art History Museum
The Art History Museum ranks sixth on the list of the most famous museums.Apart from the building being a work of art in itself, it also houses the largest Breughel collection in the world.But other great masters, including Titian, Rembrandt and Rubens, are also well represented
Ludwig van Beethoven
definition:Ludwig van Beethoven / composer
* 17.12.1770 Bonn † 26.03.1827 Vienna
Beethoven was a popular pianist in Viennese society and thanks to his income from compositions and the support of generous patrons was able to lead a mostly independent life.From 1801 onwards his hearing deteriorated until he finally became completely deaf.He increasing withdrew from society and died in the last of his 77 apartments in the Schwarzspanierstraße.
The Mozarthaus Viennais the only surviving building of the many different places where Mozart lived.The composer lived in the house in Domgasse 5 after his marriage to Constanze Weber and it was here he composed The Marriage of Figaro.Not only for lovers of music.
Find out more on our tour Vienna – The City of Music.
Art and entertainment rub shoulders here in the lavishly developed inner area of the former Imperial Stables that date back to the 17thcentury.The most famous locations include the Leopoldmuseumwith its extensive exhibitionof Fin de Siècle art and the Museum of Contemporary Art which exhibits works from contemporary artists on the one hand.While on the other hand it also offers a multitude of possibilities for nights out and celebrating.
One of the largest and most extensive librariesin the world with its 7.7 million collectors’ items.Founded by Emperor Charles VI, it continues even today to bear witness to the fame of the Habsburgs as “Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire”.
definition:Oskar Kokoschka / painter, graphic artist and poet
* 1.3.1886 Pöchlarn † 22.2.1980 Villeneuve near Montreux
Along with Egon Schiele and Richard Gerstl, Oskar Kokoschka was an influential pioneer of Expressionism.As a master of the art of portrait, he understood how to bring out the qualities of character and mind of his subjects.He was deemed a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis in 1937.417 of his works in German museums were confiscated.He emigrated to London in 1938.
definition:Otto Wagner / architect and art theorist
* 13.07.1841 Vienna-Penzing † 11.04.1918 Vienna
Otto Wagner was one of the most important representatives of Viennese secessionism in Fin de Siècle Vienna and ultimately paved the way for modern architecture.In addition to the buildings of the “Stadtbahn” or urban rail network his major works also include the Austrian Postal Savings Bank and the “St. Leopold Church am Steinhof”. “Wagner’s School” brought forth many influential architects such as Josef Hoffmann, Max Fabiani and Joseph Maria Olbrich.
definition:Peter Altenberg / writer
* 09.03.1859 Vienna † 08.01.1919 Vienna
Peter Altenberg is one of the most famous exponents of late 19thcentury Viennese coffee house literature.He lived as a Bohemian, columnist and writer in Vienna and frequented music halls, theatres, salons and above all coffee houses.His name is inseparably linked to Café Griensteidl and Café Central where you can still encounter him in the form of a papier mâché figure.
Find out more on our tours Viennese delicacies, „heurige“ or wine taverns and coffee housesand Tombs, Crypts and the Vienna Central Cemetery.
Postal Savings Bank
definition:Postal Savings Bank
A perfect example of Viennese Secession art at the turn of the 20thcentury.Otto Wagner, the eminent architect of the turn of the century built this building between 1904 and 1907 right opposite the former historicist Ministry of War.
Find out more on our tour Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century.
This area was formerly a Habsburg hunting ground.Although the Praterwas in fact opened to the public by Joseph II.Even today the greenery and alleys of the Prater are a welcoming recreational area.And if this is just too much nature, then you can always go and enjoy yourself in the bordering “Wursterlprater” with its many attractions.Including the Giant Ferris Wheel.
Prince Eugen of Savoy
definition:Prince Eugen of Savoy / military commander and statesman
* 18.10.1663 Paris † 21.04.1736 Vienna
Prince Eugen of Savoy was one of the most successful military commanders of the Imperial Army around 1700. He was the political adviser of three Habsburg emperors and rose to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court.One of the most important Baroque builder-owners he commissioned the Winterpalais in the Himmelfortgasse, the Belvedere palaces and the Schloßhof situated north of Vienna.He was also a great lover and collector of books.
definition:Richard Gerstl / painter
* 14.09.1883 Vienna † 04.11.1908 Vienna
Richard Gerstl’s creative period encompassed just four years in which time, however, he produced some of the most significant works of Austrian expressionism.He committed suicide in his studio after the breakdown of his passionate love affair with the wife of the composer Arnold Schönberg.
Giant Ferris Wheel
definition:Giant Ferris Wheel
Erected as a temporary arrangement for the 50th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph’s accession to the throne, the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel has become the most indestructible landmark of Vienna. Destroyed by fire during the Second World War – being indispensible it was quickly restored – it “gave shelter” to the Third Man.Experience the whole of Vienna at a glance:possible only from the Giant Ferris Wheel
A street as a total work of art – you will only find anything like that in Vienna.Started on the behest of Emperor Franz Joseph in the second half of the 19thcentury – completed in 1914.The buildings along Vienna’s Ringstraße bear witness to the former magnificence of a lost empire and are to this very day a joy to behold.
If it is a crown you crave for – you have come the right place.Apart from the innumerable jewels and treasures of gold and silver, the highlights on show here are the “Crown of the Holy Roman Empire” and the “Habsburg Crown of Rudolf”.
Find out more on our tour Imperial Vienna .
The former summer residence of Prince Eugen was already used as a gallery at the time of Joseph II.The focus here is on the great masters from the turn of the century: Klimt – Schiele – Kokoschka.Lovers of Biedermeier will not be disappointed either: Waldmüller – Fendi – Gauermann, to name just a few, can be enjoyed in this precious setting.
The Summer Palace of Schönbrunn, built under Emperor Leopold I and redesigned by the Empress Maria Theresia is one of the most beautiful rococo palaces in Europe and Vienna’s most frequently visited sight.
We guide you through Schönbrunn on our tour:Imperial Vienna
The Vienna Secession was founded, among others, by Gustav Klimt in 1897.The Secession gallery building served the progressive artists as a place where they could exhibit their works.Right up to the present day the Beethoven Frieze from Gustav Klimt can be marvelled at on the basement level.
Come with us on our Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century tour and discover many other impressive Art Nouveau buildings as well as the Secession.
definition:Sigmund Freud / neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis
* 6.05.1856 Freiberg † 23.09.1939 London
Sigmund Freud is regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis and depth psychology.His major work “The Interpretation of Dreams” was published in 1900.From 1891 to 1938 Freud lived and worked at No.19 Berggasse, which today houses the Sigmund Freud Museum of Vienna.Freud and his family emigrated to London in 1938 where he died after a long struggle against cancer.
Find out more on our tour The Vienna of Medicine, Sigmund Freud Museaum
One of the few still surviving enclosed Biedermeier complexes.Saved from demolition, restored with loving care in the 80s, Spittelberg is today a centre of diverse Viennese culinary delights.
St. Mark Cemetery
definition:St. Mark Cemetery
The last surviving Biedermeier cemeteryin the world is just waiting for your visit.Although nobody knows the exact location of the most famous grave – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was buried here – a visit is nonetheless fascinating.
Our tour Vienna of the Deadtakes you to St. Marx Cemetery.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
definition:St. Stephan’s Cathedral
The Roman Catholic Cathedral known locally as “Steffl” is the landmark of Vienna and the building that so often identifies Vienna itself.It is named after Saint Stephan, the first Christian Martyr.
The Zoo in the park of the Schönbrunn Palace is the oldest existing zoo in the world.Thanks to many innovations, renovations and expansions it has ranked worldwide among the most modern and popular zoos since the end of the 20thcentury.
The first ever public educational institute in Vienna was created by the famous Art Nouveau architect Max Fabiani.The building was opened by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1910. It is crowned by an observatory that is still in use today.
You will also become acquainted with this masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture on our tour Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century.
Vienna State Opera
definition:Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Operais both the most beautiful and the best opera house in the world.Year-in, year-out this monumental building on the Ringstraße attracts an uncountable number of visitors.Whether to just visit the building itself or to see a marvellous performance.
We look forward to guiding you through this building and telling you more about the history of its construction and its opera.
Vienna Central Cemetery
definition:Vienna Central Cemetery
“Long live the Central Cemeteryand all its dead”, is what Wolfgang Ambros has to say. And indeed: this the second largest cemetery in Europe is in fact very much alive and holds a few surprises in store for visitors.
Come with us on our tour Vienna of the Dead.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
definition:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / composer
* 27.1.1756 Salzburg † 5.12.1791 Vienna
As a “child prodigy” Wolfgang Amadé Mozart appeared before the Viennese Imperial Court at the early age of six.However, his hope of gaining a position at the court remained unfulfilled for the whole of his life.So he lived as a freelance artist in Vienna.His internationally renowned works include the operas “The Marriage of Figaro”, “The Magic Flute” and a multitude of orchestral works and church music.
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