Art Nouveau Walk: Otto Wagner And The Vienna Secession
On this Art Nouveau walk you’ll get a condensed view of Vienna 1900 Art Nouveau architecture and art. Use my tips and tour map for a self-guided tour off the historic city centre. You will see top works of Austria’s Art Nouveau (Jugendstil), among them the Vienna Secession, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, and others.
Start your Art Nouveau walk at the two Otto Wagner pavilions on Karlsplatz. These two former city train stations brim with gorgeous Jugendstil ornaments in green and gold. One of them houses a small and compact exhibition of Otto Wagner’s visionary works as an artist and architect of Viennese Art Nouveau and Modernism.
The U4 underground station was also designed by Otto Wagner, who was responsible for the design of most of the beautiful green cast iron stations along the U4 overground line.
Cross Resselpark and head for the Secession building on your right.The former club of revolutionary artists was founded in 1897 by Gustav Klimt and others, and houses Klimt’s breathtaking Beethoven Frieze. Take time to walk around the building which is full of beautiful reliefs and ornaments. Read more in my review of the Vienna Secession.
Why do I include a flea and food market such as Vienna’s Naschmarkt in the Art Nouveau walk? Because its around 120 landmarked stalls and shops date from the early 20th century. Most of them have the original swirly dark green cast iron structure that you will also find at many U4 underground stations in the area. On top, the Naschmarkt spans the bridge between daily Art Nouveau architecture and one of the most bustling contemporary areas of Vienna.
Not to mention that some of the finest Art Nouveau buildings by renown architect Otto Wagner gather just around the Naschmarkt.
Read more on the Naschmarkt in Vienna.
Modernist Café Drechsler is a great excuse to interrupt your Art Nouveau walk to check out what UK star designer Sir Terence Conran did to a 100-year old Vienna coffeehouse. You will find a showcase of how to reinvigorate authentic Viennese design with a dash of urban chic. This is also true of the Café’s menu which features lovely creations such as pumpkin goulash.
Like some Vienna institutions, Café Drechsler has created its own compilation of cool urban sounds on two CDs, which is often played during the day.
Continue your Art Nouveau Walk of the Naschmarkt until Linke Wienzeile 38, 40, and 42. They are the foot prints of famous Austrian Art Nouveau architect Otto Wagner’ who designed these jewels at the end of the 19th century. The photo on the right shows the house at Köstlergasse. Read more on these buildings in Otto Wagner.
Continue straight into Kettenbrücken- gasse where at no 20 your next Art Nouveau find waits, in the shape of Chocolaterie Fruth. The small shop is exquisitely furnished with clean shaped white cupboards and display cabinets.
I have to say I don’t go there for art reasons. However, Mr. Fruth’s creations with cranberries and chili, and his confectionery and drinking chocolate do call for closer inspection of the shop.
You are now right in the middle of Vienna’s 5th district, Margareten, and about to finish off your walk. The former labour district (where my late grandfather ran his lamp design studio) has transformed into atrendy area of young urban professionals and families in the past years. An extravagant place for lovers of both design and good food is Vienna restaurant Motto. Though not Art Nouveau, this cult bar and restaurant is just around the corner. Take advantage.
Take bus 59A to return to the city centre (Vienna State Opera) from where you can change to other means of public transport. Alternatively, catch the underground U4 at Pilgramgasse.
Art Nouveau Walk Tour Map
See the walk in the map below. Click on the icons for further details on the different stops, and on the link below the map to zoom in.
View Vienna Walk II: Art Nouveau in a larger map