For everyone who enjoys the the history of Vienna and is looking for places they have never been to in Vienna, Metropole has compiled a list of 5 non-conventional places to visit.
1) Snow Globe Museum
When we posted our fun facts on Facebook this summer, our Metropole Team realized how few people knew that the snow globe was invented (accidently as it turns out) by Austrian scientist Erwin Perzy. A manufacturer of surgical instruments, Perzy was experimenting with a water-filled Schusterkugel, or cobbler’s ball, hoping to enhance its ability to focus light by adding tiny reflective particles to the water. The effect reminded him of the magic of a winter snowfall. He modeled his first snow globe after the basilica at Mariazell, and with his brother, launched the business that has remained in the family ever since, keeping secret the exact material used for the snow, that stays suspended so long before falling back to “earth”. The accompanying museum – the only one in its kind – tells this history.
2) Smallest vineyard of Vienna
Vienna prides itself on the many vineyards in its outer districts, unique among European cities, and enjoys a rich culture of sipping wine at Heuriger taverns. But not many are aware of Vienna’s smallest vineyard – only 100 m2 in all, located on historic Schwarzenbergplatz in the 1st District. But why, you ask? The story begins with the care-taker of the house on Schwarzenbergplatz No. 2, Palais Wiener von Welten, who planted the first vine there in 1924. Now, each year, the harvest delivers grapes from some 60 vines, producing about 50 bottles of Vienna’s signature Gemischter Satz (mixed varieties grown and fermented together) which is then auctioned off to raise money for Licht ins Dunkel, a charity for children in need.
3) Austrian rock candy
Maria Scholz and Chris Mayer came back from a visit to Sweden with the idea of opening a candy factory in Vienna in 2013, Inspired by what they had seen in Sweden, Scholz and Mayer created Motiv Zuckerl, elaborate, delicate hard candies depicting animals, plants or other images in astonishing detail. Using only scissors, a spatula, a spoon, a brush, and a hook whip air into masses of sugar. Result? Stunning tiny pieces of art containing up to 80 layers of sweetness melting on your tongue. The company hosts small workshops where you can learn to make the candy yourself and take home your creations. If the €90 fee is too high, you can still treat yourself to a bag of candy available in one of the many dedicated shops.
4) Umbrella shop Brigitte (in the heart of Vienna)
For everyone who complains about the rainy days ahead, a look in this traditional shop will lift your spirits. In the heart of Vienna, right on Schwedenplatz, Brigitte has specialized in the sale of umbrellas for over 100 years. Stepping over the threshold, you are treated like royalty, taking you back in time where umbrellas were fashion items for the wealthy. Up till the 1700s, only women were seen carrying them on the streets of Vienna. The shop offers everything from classic umbrellas to a wide selection of high-quality contemporaries from Doppler or Knirps.
Throughout Vienna’s Habsburger history, with the monarchy’s close ties to the Roman Catholic church, the city attracted many orders that built monasteries and churches. But few are like the Wotruba Church in Liesing, in the heart of the 23rd district, also called Church of the Most Holy Trinity. Made from 152 asymmetrically arranged concrete blocks, the building leaves fascinating light patterns inside. Built between 1974 and 1976, architect Fritz Wotruba described his “Pile of Stones” as proof that ” poverty does not have to be ugly, that abjuring can persist in an area that despite of greatest simplicity is beautiful and makes people happy.” Take the S-Bahn to Liesing and then bus 60A to Lindauergasse: A worthy stop on the way to the Vienna Woods.