Morbid, eerie and spooky: The dark sides of Vienna

30.10.2021

Karl Kraus was rarely in a really good mood and never actually laughed, but the fact that he dubbed Vienna an "experimental station for the end of the world" is quite something. Alfred Polgar, on the other hand, saw Vienna as a "merry grave on the Danube," which sounds a bit more appealing and is more reminiscent of a wine-loving Viennese song. We follow the voluntary and involuntary traces of the dead and the undead, the buried and the washed up, the tortured and the supposedly foolish in Vienna.

Anyone who strolls through Vienna's quaint old town today and is receptive to it often comes across the city's dark past - you just have to keep your eyes open. Or have a travel guide and tourist guide who will take you to exactly these "Platzerln".

Death must be a Viennese ...

... or so a song by Georg Kreisler goes.  I'd say let's go explore some graves!

Sculpture in the Imperial Crypt | © © Angelika Mandler-Saul

Visit the dead

Long live not only the central cemetery

As a musical mood for a morbid city walk, I recommend the song "Es lebe der Zentralfriedhof" (Long live the central cemetery) by Wolfgang Ambros. Beside this cemetery, there are several other locations where you can visit the dead up close. 

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© Angelika Mandler-Saul

Museums with morbid charm

It really doesn't always have to be the Albertina or the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Truly, why not just turn away from the fair art and turn to those museums that occupy the less beautiful sides of life? We are not surprised that there are several of them in Vienna.

Narrenturm (Fool's Tower) in Vienna | © © Angelika Mandler-Saul

From the fool's tower to jail

Torture or being a fool

Goosebumps, mild to moderate nausea and subsequent restless dreams are to be expected here, if you let yourself be guided through the Fool's Tower or realize in the Torture Museum how cruel people can be. But where, if not in Vienna, can there be museums with a morbid background? Once again: Yes, "death must be Viennese" ...

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© Angelika Mandler-Saul

Spooky Vienna on the go

The coolest stories are told by Vienna's tour guides, who point out one or the other spooky feature during a "guided tour" through Vienna's neighborhoods. 

Stairs in the mist

Morbid Vienna on the go

Open your eyes when sightseeing


The tunnel of horror in the Prater of our childhood (the 1970s, to be precise) may no longer be able to lure smartphone-armed kids out from behind their cell phones. And then there's the plague pit - into which you can fall in the time machine: virtually, but still something you can experience firsthand. Let's see what the kids say ...

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hotels: Hotel Europa Wien, Hotel Anatol, Hotel Doppio

Autor

Angelika Mandler-Saul

Angelika Mandler-Saul, who grew up in the Weinviertel region in Lower Austria, is a travel blogger and freelance author. Since 2013 she has been writing about her experiences and impressions while travelling throughout the world on www.wiederunterwegs.com. Her focus: nature and culture. She is regularly accompanied by her sooty black labrador Coffee, who is also good for many stories.
Angelika is particularly fond of travelling in her native country Austria, bringing her love of Austrian history and literature, travelling and writing under one roof. Travelling with culture: that sums it up precisely.

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