Augarten Park, a Viennese Gem
You might already know that Vienna is well worth a visit. But have you ever been to the Augarten? Never heard of it before? Well then it’s about time that you do.
Oldest Baroque Park in Vienna
Located just a few steps from the city center of Vienna are roughly 130 acres of the city’s oldest baroque park, the Augarten park. The park might not be on everyone’s bucket list of things to do in Vienna, but trust me you really should go and visit. I’ve been there a couple of days ago and was stunned by the elaborate garden architecture.
Although I was very early in the year, with the vast flower gardens not in bloom yet, Augarten proved to be a wise choice for spending some quality time. Way back in history it was Emperor Matthias who founded the park in 1614 as a hunting ground for him. At the end of the 17th century the park came under siege by the Turks, was fully destroyed and rebuilt by Emperor Jospeh I in 1705. Much later in 1755 the park was opened to the public, hunting of course strictly prohibited and its grounds became of loved meeting place for the Viennese nobility.
Much of that splendour is still visible today. The palace built in the early 18th century, as well as its walls, are still intact today. In fact the palace is home to the renowned Augarten Porcelain manufactory, which was founded in 1718.
In case you’d want to visit the porcelain manufactory, they do offer 1 hour guided tours in English and German for 14 Euro p.p., no registration needed (I’ve never been – might do that some other time). For information please check on their website ttps://www.augarten.com/en/
Augarten and its WWII past
Walking around in the Augarten also gives you a chilling reminder of Austria’s part in the WWII. Military at that time thought the Augarten to be a perfect spot for building Flak Towers, anti-aircraft defence towers. Two of those monstrosities can still be seen today – in fact, with a hight of 180 feet they both are hard to miss. Rumor has it that these concrete built towers can not be destroyed at all, and Vienna is full of them. So you might as well get used to them. Besides they do offer some nice photo op.
Augarten and Culture
Augarten also is the home of famous Wiener Sängerknaben – the Viennese Boys Choir. The boys in the sailor like costume have their own concert hall in the park, the MUTH, and regularly appear on stage. Follow the link for concert details. Also the Film Archiv Austria is located in the park. Although the Austrian film industry is far off the league of Holly- or even Bollywood, before and during the WWII Austria produced some of the greatest films of that time.
Our Foodie Tip
In this case it has to be the Bunkerei – www.bunkerei.at. The brasserie style restaurant is open from Tuesdays onwards (closed Mondays) and is a nice and relaxing eatery within the park’s premises. Bunker(ei) means bunker, the place originally was a bunker in – you guessed it – the WWII. The place also offers live music on numerous occasions.
Have a nice time in the Augarten and in Vienna!