Vienna 1900: Otto Wagner And The Vienna Secession
My Art Nouveau walk blends Vienna 1900-style Art Nouveau architecture with contemporary design shops, fine art with bohemian vintage. Use my tips and tour map for a self-guided tour off the historic city centre.
Some of the more well known Art Nouveau architecture are scattered across Vienna, such as Otto Wagner’s Savings Bank building on the Ringstrasse, with a few of them in the outskirts. Unless you have time at your hands, I recommend you focus on the great gems that you can find in one area.
Austria’s Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) centres around the works of the Vienna Secession, Vienna’s club of revolutionary artists that was founded in 1897 by artists Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Otto Wagner, and others.
In 2012, Vienna will celebrate Klimt’s 150-year anniversary. Learn about thespecial exhibitions and guided tours in Vienna.
Start your Art Nouveau walk right at the Secessionists’ exhibition centre, on Karlsplatz, and with the underground station building as you alight on Karlsplatz. The station was designed by Otto Wagner, who was responsible for the design of most of the beautiful green cast iron stations along the U4 overground line. For further insight into the Secession visit Vienna sights.
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.
The Cafe Drechsler is a great excuse to interrupt your Art Nouveau walk to check out what UK star designer Sir Terence Conran did to an 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 Cafe’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. Read more on these buildings in Otto Wagner.
Continue straight into Kettenbrückengasse where at no 20 your next art nouveau find waits, in the shape of Chocolaterie Fruth. Mr. Fruth’s creations with cranberries and chili, and his confectionery and drinking chocolate call for closer inspection of the shop’s … well … interior design and period cupboards.
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
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