Vienna Secession

21. Palmenhaus (Burggarten)

Burggarten 1, Innere Stadt
Friedrich Ohmann, 1902-1906

The tropical glass house in Burggarten shows influence of Art Nouveau in several parts.


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22. Österreichische Postsparkasse

Georg-Coch-Platz 2, Innere Stadt
Otto Wagner, 1904-1906

The building of the Austrian Postal Savings Bank represents Otto Wagner’s first step away from Art Nouveau towards modern architecture.

The façade is covered entirely with square marble plates, which are easy to maintain and clean. These are attached to the main brick structure of the building with mortar and iron bolts with aluminium caps. These don’t obstruct the façade and resemble decorative elements. In this way, the harmonious synthesis of form and functionality is established. Near the roof, statues of female angels holding laurels made by Othmar Schimkowitz can be found.

On the first floor, the famous Kassenhalle is located. It is designed like an atrium, with a large glass ceiling allowing natural light enter the heart of the building. Here too, the decorative effect is created by the simple but elegant use of the materials.


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23. Apartment building with shops ‘Zu den sieben Sternen’

Siebensterngasse 13, Neubau
Karl & Franz Riess, 1906

This structure is located on the site of a former building by which the whole street is named (‘the Seven Stars’). The current building is one of the first ones in which Karl Reiss added elements of Art Nouveau (i.e., dragons) to the late-Historicist decor.



24. Apartment building on Schönborngasse 16

Johann Kazda, 1906

This building has a remarkable Art Nouveau door.



25. Kirche am Steinhof / Church of Saint Leopold

Baumgartner Höhe 1, Penzing
Otto Wagner, 1903-1907

This is one of the most significant Art Nouveau churches in the world and probably the most beautiful church that I have ever seen. It is located on a hillside in the territory of the former Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital (now Otto-Wagner-Spital). Because it was built as the church of an asylum, there are very few sharp edges in the interior, no crosses are visible, and the priest’s area is separate from that of the patients.

On the outside, the church has a golden dome, and its walls are covered with marble. The sculptural angels of the main façade were made by Othmar Schimkowitz, the mosaics and stained glass are the work of Koloman Moser, and the statues on the towers representing Saint Leopold and Saint Severin, the patron saints of Lower Austria, are from Richard Luksch.

The church lies, unusually, on a North-South axis.


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26. Fillgraderstiege

Max Hegele, 1905-1907

These Art Nouveau steps in Mariahilf were listed among the most beautiful in Europe by art professors in 2004.



27. Schützenhaus

Obere Donaustraße 26, Leopoldstadt
Otto Wagner, 1904-1908

This building was originally planned as a part of a weir and lock installation on the Donaukanal, but it never fulfilled that purpose. It is decorated with cobalt blue ceramic tiles decorated with wave motifs.



28. Französische Botschaft in Wien

Technikerstraße 2, Wieden
Georges Chedanne, 1900-1909

The building of the French Embassy in Vienna was seen as a temple of bad taste after its construction. Its design was so different from the buildings surrounding it that the Viennese thought that during the construction its plans had got mixed up with those of the French Embassy of Constantinople. It is difficult to assign one style to this building. Some elements, such as the garden railings, are clearly Art Nouveau, though.



29. Karl-Borromäus-Brunnen

Karl-Borromäus-Platz, Landstraße
Josef Engelhart & Jože Plečnik, 1904-1909

This is a rare example of an Art Nouveau fountain in Vienna. Karl Borromäus – Charles Borromeo – was a leader of the Counter-Reformation.


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30. Steyrerhof / Orendihof

Fleischmarkt 1, Innere Stadt
Arthur Baron, 1909-1910

This corner building was constructed in 1909-1910 for the Steyrermühl printing company. It is located on the site of an older building that belonged to the Karajan family since 1797. The name Orendihof comes from a carpet shop that was located here for some time. The dome of the corner tower was changed in 1987. The tiles with geometric ornaments are not original either.



31. Strudlhofstiege

Strudlhofgasse 8, Alsergrund
Johann Theodor Jaeger, 1910

The Strudlhof Steps go back to 1688, when Peter Strudel opened a painting school here. It was one of the first art colleges in Central Europe and a precursor of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

The steps were built in 1910 from luminescent Mannersdorf limestone. The railings and candelabras were made of metal. The white-green colour pattern resembles the architecture of the Wiener Stadtbahn. The complex also includes two fountains.

The Strudlhof Steps are a major point of interest for those interested in literature, since it was the setting of much of the narrative of one of the most important Austrian novels published after World War Two: Die Strudlhofstiege oder Melzer und die Tiefe der Jahre (The Strudlhof Steps or Melzer and the Depth of the Years) by Heimito von Doderer (1951).

When I walk around aimlessly in Vienna, I end up here very often.



32. Karl-Borromäus-Kirche

Zentralfriedhof, Simmering
Max Hegele, 1908-1911

This church is located at the Zentralfriedhof and is well visible on a train from Budapest entering Vienna. It makes reference to Otto Wagner’s earlier Kirche am Steinhof but also shows some influence of the Egyptian architecture. It was originally named after Karl Lueger, the mayor of Vienna in 1897-1910, but since 1911 it is dedicated to Charles Borromeo.


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33. Haus der Ärztekammer

Weihburggasse 10-12, Innere Stadt
Guido Gröger, 1911

Constructed in 1911 on the site of three Baroque houses, the building of the Austrian Medical Chamber is a very elegant example of the late-Art Nouveau architecture in Vienna.



34. Trattnerhof

Graben 29/29a, Innere Stadt
Rudolf Krausz & Felix Sauer, 1911-1912

These beautiful lantern-shaped display cases near Graben belong to a structure from 1911-1912, replacing a famous 18th-century building.


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35. Wiener Konzerthaus

Lothringerstraße 20, Landstraße
Ferdinand Fellner, Hermann Helmer & Ludwig Baumann, 1911-1913

On the façade of this building, the influence of both Historicist and Secessionist architecture can be read.



36. Commercial building ‘Zum silbernen Brunnen’

Plankengasse 4 / Spiegelgasse 17 / Seilergasse 18, Innere Stadt
Karl & Wilhelm Schön, 1912-1914

A beautiful mosaic adorns the entrance of this late-Art Nouveau building. It is located on the site of a coffee house that was popular among writers and poets in the Biedermeier era (Silbernes Kaffeehaus).



37. Ankeruhr

Hoher Markt 10-11, Innere Stadt
Franz von Matsch & Franz Morawetz, 1911-1914

This famous clock, with the diameter of approximately four meters, forms a bridge that connects the two parts of the building of the Anker Insurance Company. It shows time by twelve historical figures that move across the clock face. Among the figures are, for example, Marcus Aurelius, Charlemagne, Eugene of Savoy, Maria Theresa, and Joseph Haydn. Every hour a different figure passes by. At noon all twelve figures parade, each accompanied by music from their era. The first performance took place on August 18, 1915, on the birthday of Emperor Franz Joseph I.


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38. Apartment building on Hütteldorfer Straße 333

This less-known Art Nouveau building is located in Penzing.



39. Gate on Liechtensteinstraße

This elegant Art Nouveau gate is located on Liechtensteinstraße just before the Strudlhofstiege.



40. Wiener Werkstätte: Exhibits at Leopold Museum

Wiener Werkstätte was established by Josef Hoffmann an Koloman Moser in 1903. It evolved from the Vienna Secession and its purpose was to renew the field of applied arts by embellishing everyday objects and thus elevating them to art objects. Different types of art objects were produced, such as furniture, leather goods, enamel, jewellery, ceramics, and postcards. The customers were mostly artists and Jewish upper middle class of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Before the company went to bankruptcy in 1932, it had branches in cities such as Karlsbad, Marienbad, Zürich, Berlin, and New York.

An inlaid armoire from the Eisler-Terramare apartment bedroom by Koloman Moser


An armchair among the furniture of ‘Apartment for a Young Couple’ by Koloman Moser


A chair by Joseph Maria Olbrich