In After Europe, Ivan Krastev argues that the refugee crisis is Europe’s gravest threat Europe is in crisis and Ivan Krastev is worried. As at the end of the Habsburg dynasty a century ago, “Europeans are living at a moment when paralyzing uncertainty captures a society’s imagination” the Bulgarian political scientist argues in After Europe. Torn between hectic activity and...
Vienna’s New Mayor Takes Over Vienna’s new mayor, Michael Ludwig, (Social Democrats, SPÖ) has introduced the new city government, dubbing it his “forward-thinking team” and including four new members. According to Ludwig, the city’s administration now represents a “Viennese mélange of years-long experience and new faces.” The freshly nominated city councilors will be responsible for vital departments, namely Health and...
In a provocative move, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the closing of seven mosques and potential expulsion of 60 Turkish-funded imams one week before Muslim Eid celebrations. The move has been criticized as Islamophobic. A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ibrahim Khalid, took to twitter to voice his government’s outrage: “Austria’s decision to close seven mosques and expel...
My first home on the European continent was in Bratislava, Slovakia. The city was still run down in 1994, but as an 8-year-old ragamuffin, the chaos was fuel for the imagination. My brother and I climbed the cliffs along the banks of the Danube, playing pirates and burying treasures we’d gathered along the way. A few months in, my...
from our readers november 2017
In response to “A Taster’s Tour” MET 27, May 2018 TO THE EDITOR, Your article on Austrian wines certainly caught my attention. Not only do I love my wine, but there is some personal history involved. Firstly, the major scandal in 1985 when it was discovered Austrian wines had been doctored with chemicals to increase sweetness, and Austrian wine exports plummeted....
Mayor Michael Häupl
After a quarter century, Vienna’s popular Mayor Michael Häupl leaves behind a city more prosperous, international and innovative – yet still humane. That’s saying a lot. The 1st of May marked a revival of sorts for Vienna’s SPÖ, as some 120,000 people showed up for the party’s annual Labor Day love fest – by far the largest crowd in recent...
Western Balkan countries have made significant progress since the 1990s, when ethnic violence tore the region apart. But that progress is fragile without EU membership. On January 16, Serbian and Kosovar leaders met in Brussels for confidence-building talks. But, on that same day, the Kosovo Serb minority leader Oliver Ivanović was shot dead in the Serb-administered section of Mitrovica, in...
health
For newcomers, Austrians can take some getting used to. But if you’re planning to get sick, Austria is the place to be. Let’s be honest; if you’re planning to get sick, Austria is the place. That precious little green e-card in my wallet is my key to an Aladdin’s cave of medical cosseting. Before I’d have even reached the front...
Friedrich Faulhammer
The rector of the Danube University Krems on education reform, collaboration along the river and the benefits of studying in the countryside. It’s easy to understand why people would want to study here. From the rolling hills coated in vineyards to the petite village streets of Krems an der Donau, the surroundings are idyllic. In a marriage of modern and...
Why Vienna's city government has completely reorganized itself and what it has to do with the FPÖ, expats and international managers It is an interesting but characteristic phenomenon. The government of red Vienna – once known as the worldwide socialist model for the introduction of municipal social services, Gemeindebauten (social housing) and the redistribution from the supposedly rich to the...
“Welcome to a new world of work.” A 3-minute animated video with this feel-good title was published on June 18 by the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO), attempting to sell online audiences on the benefits of (potentially) working 12 hours a day, 5 times a week. The Youtube video uses catchy lyrics and cute human and animal characters to translate...
POPE FRANCIS IS NOW A LIFE-TIME MEMBER OF VIENNA’S SK RAPID WIEN FOOTBALL CLUB When in Rome, do as the Romans do – that’s what the players of Rapid Wien might have thought when the team visited the Vatican on May 25. After all, they had an audience with Pope Francis, who is originally from Argentina and now living in...
Danube
The mighty river is the lifeblood of the entire southeastern flank of Europe. Cultures flourish, empires fall and ideologies shatter on its shores. The cyclists hurtling down the Danube track near Baja barely catch a glimpse of a small black plaque with gold lettering beneath the road bridge. “At this point on 1st November 1921,” reads the text, “Charles IV the...
hydropower
An interview with Heinz-Peter Allmer, Head of Verbund Hydro Power, Lower Danube “Hydropower makes it possible to provide electric current from the river’s current.” Heinz-Peter Allmer is used to receiving compliments on the amazing view from his office – a panoramic expanse of water stretching northward between its lush, tree-lined banks – at the Verbund Hydropower Plant Freudenau which sits right...
An interview with Jan de Bruijn, Captain, AMA Waterways “When I was first sailing on the Danube, the rules were not necessarily followed. Maybe it was a Western/Eastern European thing, but it’s gotten a lot better.” At 67, Dutchman Jan de Bruijn is eligible for retirement. But he isn’t going anywhere. As the most experienced captain of the river cruise operator...
danube
An interview with Manuel Hinterhofer, Director, Wiener Fischereiausschuss “In the old days, the fishermen were the experts, spending a lot of time on the water every day, watching and observing. A lot of this knowledge has been lost.” Out walking along the Danube recently, Manuel Hinterhofer pointed out the shimmering forms of a spawning fish bed to a woman playing fetch...
An interview with Johannes Klos, owner of Danube Roll Ferry “The ferry is something special. It’s something you don’t see or experience every day.” On any given day, a small vessel quietly traverses the Danube between Klosterneuburg and Korneuburg. There is no motor; it glides along a cable suspended 22 meters above the water, powered only by the flow of the...
From sports on its shores to a Hugo on the canal, the Danube is much more than Vienna’s Riviera by Claudia Paccosi & Dardis McNamee Austro-pop singer-songwriter Rainhard Fendrich had a gift for capturing the tone of Viennese life, like this hit from the 1990s, “A schräge Wies’n am Donaukanal, is mei Riviera auf jeden Fall!” (A sloping meadow on the...
The Danube powers many an industry on its way to the Black Sea, from hydropower to high-volume logistics Flowing through 10 countries – from the Black Forest to the Black Sea – the Danube River has unified a Central European population of some 83 million people of otherwise very different cultures and nationalities. Its waters are a direct source for...
hospitality
Planning a new career? The tourism and hospitality sector is booming and offers a wide variety of options. Trying to push past hordes of tourists in the narrow streets of Vienna’s city center can be a physical challenge, but consider this: catering to these millions of visitors could be your new career path. Tourism and leisure account for about 16% of...
package travel
As the Danube gets ready for the summer travel season, a new law is set to give travelers more rights and better information on their trips. So, you’re booking a vacation – let’s say your aim is to spend a few days at an adventure or holiday park and you book this first. The park’s website offers you a link...
Vienna has been shaping its stretch of the Danube for 500 years. But only in the 19th century was it possible to alter Vienna’s riverscape and revamp public health In the 1800s, Vienna was just beginning its emergence as a world city, as the population exploded from 230,000 in 1800 to over 2 million by 1910. Vienna was overcrowded, dirty...
As America turns inward, the enormously ambitious program once described as the “most enligthened self-interest in history” has a positive impact still today In times when transactional politics is dominating international relations and Washington seems to have abandoned global – political and moral – leadership, it is worthy to recall an era when the U.S. came to the rescue of...
Land-bound at the center of the continent, the Hungarians feel both forlorn and pivotal in the story of Europe – a country where devastation, genius and endurance have gone hand in hand The existence, the very survival, of the Hungarian people and their nation state in the Carpathian basin is a miracle of European history. There are few, if any,...
Hungary
Hungary oscillates between notions of past grandeur and a deep longing for calm. True democracy, it seems, has no chance but to fall by the wayside. Thirty seconds and we are live in Echo TV’s freshly refurbished news studio. The room is half-lit with merely the silhouette of the anchorman showing. A timer is ticking, adding suspense to the revelations...
media
Hungarians revive the Samizdat tradition to break Viktor Orbán’s grip on the media, as a press crackdown continues following his threats of postelection “revenge”. Not everyone in Hungary is happy to receive a copy of Nyomtass Te Is, a free weekly newsletter created to counter Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s domination of the country’s regional media. “One guy just saw a headline...
Wedged between the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains and the rivers Tisza and Danube, Hungary is a land of wide plains, spicy paprika and fiery music. Compiled by Anastasia Gromontova & Benjamin Wolf 1. TAKE A BATH IN ONE OF BUDAPEST’S FAMED SPAS 2,000 years ago, Roman legionnaires enjoyed the region’s hot springs, building more than 14 baths. The Turks revived this...
After winning a lengthy lawsuit, the city is finally revamping the infamous Copa Cagrana Vienna’s relationship with the Danube is an ongoing love story, perhaps best expressed by Johann Strauss Jr.’s stir-ring Blue Danube. But the affair goes deeper than a waltz played at midnight every New Year’s Eve: ever since the late 1970s when the Donauinsel (Danube Island) was...
by Anastasia Gromontova & Binu Starnegg The lure of suburbia, with its promise of the tranquility of country life within city limits, is a strong one. And while Vienna mostly consists of large Gründerzeit apartment buildings and even larger communal Gemeindebauten, the city has not always been immune to the charms of life with a backyard. In fact, for a...
English Mondays
English Mondays at the Schauspielhaus are a mad scientist’s laboratory of experimental theater. An effective antidote to theatrical ennui, the anarchic, absurd and anglophone English Mondays are experimental theater with a subversive smile, showcasing Vienna’s cosmopolitan provocateurs while offering free crisps and English tea. This season, the monthly fixture at the Schauspielhaus has been devoted to realizing the lifelong dream of...
Fluchtspuren
The exhibition What Remains: Traces of Refugees (Fluchtspuren) leaves its mark with a few personal objects Size isn’t everything, especially when your survival literally depends on the coat on your back. What would you grab if you had just a few minutes to save your life? As revealed by the 15 objects collected for the Wien Museum’s small Fluchtspuren exhibition,...
The combative artist gets a large retrospective There is no denying that throughout the history of art, the bulk of works has come from men who portrayed women as objects or, at best, highly desirable muses. Luckily, plenty of recent artists have stepped up to challenge the status quo. One of them is Viennese painter Florentina Pakosta, who turned her...
Schönberg
Twenty years of the Arnold Schönberg Center and an exhibit on Jung-Wien, Vienna’s fin-de-siècle creative wave “New music is never beautiful on first acquaintance.” For many, this remark by Arnold Schoenberg, made in a radio interview in 1931, might seem the understatement of the century. Especially if they have made any acquaintance with the music of Schoenberg himself, the “inventor”...
arcade fire
The Canadian art rock band returns with its most upbeat album yet. Ever since their critically acclaimed debut album Funeral back in 2004, Montreal’s most recognizable musicians have become one of the most important voices of indie rock, winning a Grammy for their album The Suburbs in 2011 and even an Oscar nomination after scoring Spike Jonze’s sci-fi-drama Her two years later. Arcade...
jazz fest
Vienna’s annual jazz summer presents international stars and local talent. As orchestras go on tour and Vienna’s major concert halls take a well-deserved Sommerpause (summer break), the smooth tones of the Jazz Fest Wien move in to fill the silence. The international jazz festival has become a household name in Vienna’s cultural landscape: attracting roughly 60,000 visitors each year, its...
The Cleaners
The Cleaners shines a light on the shadowy world of online moderation. As the debate about the role of social media in the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum heats up, many people are missing a larger point: Facebook and Google have more power to censor or influence the public discourse than any other institution on the planet. Or...
Promised Land
For director Eugene Jarecki, “Fat Elvis” is a metaphor for a country in crisis. If you watch Promised Land expecting a pleasant two-hour feature about Elvis Presley in honor of the 40th anniversary of his death, you’re in for a rude awakening. This film uses the King’s life as a metaphor for the potential and – downfall – of the...
On Chesil Beach
Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle are two lovers brought down by repressive times. A decade after starring in Atonement and getting an Academy Award nomination at only 13 years old, Irish American actress Saoirse Ronan appears in another Ian McEwan adaptation. Set in the summer of 1962 – the cusp between postwar conservatism and the sexual revolution – it’s the...
Glow stream
There’s so much good television on streaming websites, to say nothing of the films. It’s impossible to keep track of what is worth your while. And while June sets Vienna’s streets abuzz, fabulous woman wrestlers, mesmerizing homes and mysterious disappearances beckon you back onto the comfort of your couch. Dramedy: GLOW The creative team behind the iconic, boundary-breaking Orange is the New...
marina
The Marina Restaurant combines Austrian culinary variations and Mediterranean flavors with an unbeatable view and a refreshing breeze As the days grow longer and the nights warmer, Vienna residents traditionally flock to the water. There are dozens of cocktail bars and taverns serving snacks on the Donaukanal, and the Donauinsel has more than its fair share of seasonal restaurants, offering...
Anni’s Bröselei bakes delicious vegan and gluten-free dishes made with love As Viennese cuisine is meat-heavy, when chef Anni Huber and her marketing expert Oli Schmidt started their café, Anni’s Bröselei (crumbery), they weren’t sure whether locals would embrace their concept of vegan, gluten-free eating. The fear was unfounded: Near the university of Vienna and the American Embassy, the adorable...
Despite behind-the-scenes struggles, the Donaukanal remains the place to be when the temperature rises As a tourist couple is taking a selfie on the Schwedenbrücke, just a few feet below them a slightly tipsy older gentleman is dancing ecstatically to jazz played by a band on an improvised stage under the bridge. He is wearing a “Euro 2008 Austria/Hungary” T-shirt...
VieVinum
This year’s VieVinum showcases the best of Austria and introduces little known Swiss and Dalmatian wines at the Hofburg from June 9 to 11. Wine fairs are like gallery openings, clusters of trendy urbanites chatting at high tempo and knocking back quantities of wine. The difference is that at a Vernissage, it is practically de rigeur to ignore the art; at...
Vienna’s baseball teams aim for the bleachers If you happen to be near the Lusthaus, at the southern end of the Prater Hauptallee on a sunny Saturday morning this summer, you might be surprised to hear some rare, foreign sounds, in quirky contrast to the gracious ­elegance of the 18th century imperial hunting lodge. First, it’s the distinctive clang of...
Krems
Still surrounded by vineyards, the twin cities of Krems and Stein are also spiced with highly acidic caricature. Sleepy little town on the softly rolling Danube – or hotbed of political intrigue and architectural pillage? Krems, just an hour out of Vienna, is probably both. For centuries a trading hub for the precious commodities of salt and wine, its past...
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It’s easy to find treasures when FESCH’MARKT brings them all to one place. From June 15-17, Vienna’s popular independent design fair descends on the Ottakringer Brauerei, featuring up-and-coming designers. Here are three of our local favorites: KAMARG Popular with Austrian hikers, hunters and fishermen in the ’50s and ’60s, the charmingly retro Kamarg is a robust companion, updated for urban adventurers. Designed...
Noun. Lit. Transdanubia, a popular nickname for the two Viennese districts beyond the Danube, the 21st (Floridsdorf) and 22nd (Donaustadt). Generally only applied to areas within the city and its immediate surroundings, never to places further afield that are technically also beyond the Danube, like the Marchfeld or the Weinviertel. The pseudo-geographic moniker evokes the image of a strange and...