year we tour the third and thirteenth districts, Landstrasse and
Landstrasse is big and colourful, dynamic
and diverse. Every street is interesting, if you meet the people and
hear the stories. This district still votes red, but is
fast-developing, with projects like Triiiple, Heumarkt and Neu Marx.
It includes Arsenal, even though this
part of Wien is outside of the Guertel, and belonged to Favoriten
until the Nazis moved it to a more
classy district, Landstrasse,
One of the key differences between Whoosh and the official tours of Vienna is that the Kammer-trained Guides are taught not to make a Walk longer than 90 minutes, because they think people will get bored or tired. Eugene knows that some subjects need more time. And so he makes adventures that last 12 hours (Otto Wagner), which start at midnight, or 8am (Lange Marsch zu Jeder Bezirk), often free of charge (thanks to Stadt Wien, Wiener Wohnen or Wir sind Wien Festival), with themes which surprise people (Brexit, Gemeindebauten, Tabu, Smells), and he understands that a good walk involves storytelling and exchange, inviting participants to offer their own interactive response to the ideas presented. On the Tribes of Donauinsel, the whole group gets naked, and Eugene shows his Booty!
Landstrasse becomes cinematic in the East, with Gasometer, Marxhalle and T-Mobile. There is big sky here, and room to play. The TU Raumplanung established an experimental space here, in three containers, with refugee education, parties, lectures in public space and urban gardening. It is a media hub, with Wiener Zeitung, Puls4, Brut Theater and Vienna Film Commission all facing onto the open space around Erdberg. Der Standard is based at the other, western end of the district. And this Bezirk has maybe the worst bus station in Europe, at the Vienna International Busstation.
The district is young and has the most start-ups of any Bezirk in Austria. It is also the most-walked district in the country. With important transport hubs like Wien Mitte and VIB, it is well-connected and visible. The A23 is the most-driven road in Europe, and elevated as it passes through Landstrasse. Eugene is no fan of cars, but finds this urban flyover sexy and strange. It brings drama and a Cronenburg vibe to Wien Ost.
The district is defined by its boundaries: Donaukanal, Wienfluss, Wieden and Simmering. Eugene finds it disappointing that the Viennese live in numbers not names. Please call your place by its name and not its number, to add place-making and identity to your Graetzl. It is a fine feeling to really belong to your neighbourhood.
There are many interesting restaurants and bars around Radetzkyplatz, giving this place an international and cool feel. And it is home to the Innovation Ministry, which features on Vienna Ugly tour. Raiffeisen's base on the edge of Stadtpark is regularly voted one of our beautiful city's worst buildings. During the pandemic, Wien Mitte's famous and fancy CAT trains (CAT = City Airport Train) out to the airport have been dispatched to Vorarlberg, but with the same branding as ever. Bizarre.
This is also a musical place, with Beethoven having composed his Ode to Joy on Ungargasse, the legendary Malipop bar plays the weirdest, finest soundtrack you ever heard, and the Universitaet fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst is the most international of all Vienna's 19 universities, dominated by fine classical music students from eastern Europe.
On Brexit night in 2020, Eugene played 12 hours straight of great British music, from Led Zeppelin to The Xx, in Tube Station pub on Marxergasse. It was a celebration of 47 years of cultural exchange, which the EU enabled, but also a sad way to say goodbye to Brussels. Just next door to this pub is the kitsch and playful Hundertwasserhaus - perhaps the most-famous social-housing block in the world - and one of the best. It says a lot about Wien that our social housing is interesting to tourists. Hundertwasser is a reminder that Jewish cultural life survived the second world war, and - along with Andre Heller, Bruno Kreisky, Michael Landau, the Neni-Schlomo family and Simon Wiesenthal - we should celebrate that Vienna is now a safe city for Jews to live. But we lost a lot with the extermination and racism of the National Socialists. Let's learn from that experience and get rid of politicians like Kurz and Nehammer, who use racism as a populist tool. Heinz-Christian Strache's home district is Landstrasse, and it even became a subject of debate, where he lived, since his mum lives in Landstrasse, but he himself in Kloster Neuburg.
This district is home to important culture, in the form of the photo-focused Kunsthaus, Haus Wittgenstein on Kundmanngasse - one of the most important Wiener Modern buildings - but also Rabenhof Theater, Arena and Michael Niavarani's Globe Theatre (which loves Shakespeare, like Euge).
We spoke earlier about the universities in this part of Wien Ost, but one of the least well-known parts of Vienna's intellectual life is that we have 15000 post-grad students researching best-practice, with a particular focus on life sciences. and their hub is the BIO-Center in Neu Marx. Next year, Eugene will lead a tour connecting all the dots of deep Vienna research.
At the same time, Landstrasse has an earthy, wild thing going on, with Schlachthausgasse a focus of meat, historically. Animals were walked through the city, to be killed at Arena. It did not smell good in this part of Wien. The residents of Southeast Wien live seven years less than in Wien NordWest. Poverty kills.
The Arena Bewegung in the 1970s was an important, romantic moment in our city's history. It established feminist, ecological and social themes which have helped form our political focus until now. Arena has a pirate, naughty, punk thing going on, which we love. It is salty, rock&roll and wild.
But Wiener Stadtwerk is also based here, guiding the city in its future direction. Vienna is one of the cities which is most visited from Bureaucrats, who want to learn how to run their own cities better.
The ÖAMTC helicopter is regularly (too often?) launched from its futuristic base in Erdberg, rescuing people who hurt themselves in road accidents, swimming incidents or domestic chaos.
There are two Flaktuerme in Landstrasse, and we will of course explore them. Visitors to Muenchen or Nuernberg can explore their Nazi history in all its detail. Vienna visitors can explore Mozart in detail, but not our Nazi past. Many commentators around the world are troubled by Austria's desire to re-elect Nazis.
ÖBB want to establish more dialogue between Landstrasse, Wieden and Favoriten, but this project is a spectacular failure!
We will visit ImpulsTanz, Schweizerpark, the so-called Canaletto vision of Vienna (which Eugene finds over-rated), the Aspanggruende memorial, Schwarzenbergplatz, the spectacular Croatia embassy on Rennweg from Otto Wagner, and the pretty Russian Embassy, to explore Austria's complex relationship with Russia and the Soviet Union. More than 1% of Viennese were born in Russia/USSR, but they are one of the least-visible groups in our city.
Landstrasse does not have a strong identity, but we want to work on that. Ernst Molden made his balcony Corona concerts on the Hauptstrasse and we want to pimp the bzk!
Eugene has a long relationship with the magdas Hotel from Caritas Wien, going back to his DJ moment in the Baustellenfest, where he played the music out of the refugees' homelands. And they showed us their dance moves, out of China, Gabon and Iran. 70% of employees have a refugee-experience, and this social-innovation is a worldwide-visible project from Vienna. And now Caritas are developing a second hotel, in Ungargasse. Please support it.
We wanna show the new Landstrasse! Please join us.
Wir freuen uns sehr über die finanzielle Unterstützung der Wirtschaftsagentur Wien und über die Förderung von Wien Tourismus, der Mobilitätsagentur und diversen Mediengruppen (inklusiv ORF). Außerdem sind wir stolz, dass wir in die Initiative Reparatur der Zukunft aufgenommen wurden, eine Kooperation von Ö1, Forum Alpbach, Ars Electronica und Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien.