Thursday, 7 June 2012

A walk in the Augarten park

I believe there are 6 World War II flak-towers still to be seen in Vienna. These two are in the Augarten, a walled park with flower beds and long tree-lined avenues. It lies close to the city centre.

The Augarten Park was given to the Viennese people by Emperor Joseph II, a far-sighted son of the Empress Maria-Theresia and probably the most progressive and intelligent of all the Habsburgs, for the public's enjoyment and recreation.

Today in the park there are several cafes and bars, one is the Bunkerei  (the Bunker). Also to be found are the Augarten Porcelain Museum, the Gustinus Ambrosi Museum, and two Austrian cows, Ritta and Hektor.

Notwithstanding the Emperor's dedication which I believe is inscribed somewhere in stone the Vienna Boys Choir is today firmly at home in the park in spite of sit-down protests from the Augarten outdoor cinema public and others which required police intervention.

There was also a barrage of press criticism in respect of the choir's unfortunate oversight regarding the obtaining of certain planning permissions; however the Sängerknaben, as the boy songsters are called, are not unique in this respect as you can see from the pictures above.

You can read the story of Gustinus Ambrosi (1893-1975) and meet the two cows in forthcoming posts.


  1. Why would people object to the Vienna boys' choir Gwil?

  2. Pat, it was as far as I can gather because (i) the VBC wanted to close down the open air summer cinema which had been going on there for years and (ii) because the VBC appeared to be beyond the reach of the law - or at least were seen as being able to bypass planning and building regulations and fence-off a portion of the park. There was subsequently a sit-down protest which ended with police removing the demonstrators. I don't know how the whole business was finally resolved or even if it was resolved.

  3. I thought it was a water tower at first.

  4. Funny you should say that Gerald because the city was wondering what to do with them - apparently it's almost impossible to knock them down - but one of the 6 has I'm given to understand been modified for use as a water-world or large aquarium or something like that.


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