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Spittelberg

Spittelberg is the oldest and most colourful part of the elegant 7th District. In the 17th century, the cluster of streets between Siebensterngasse and Burggasse, around Spittelberggasse, was Vienna’s first immigrant worker district. Its inhabitants were mainly craftsmen, merchants and servants from Croatia and Hungary, brought here to work at the court. Today, the district’s crafts heritage lives on in the street market, held on the first weekend of each month and prior to Christmas. Among the stalls with wood carvings, tie-dyed fabrics and silver jewellery, waiters from the local bars negotiate the busy crowds; there are some 58 bars in this small area, which contains just 138 houses. The number of bars may change from one week to the next, but the bustling, festive party atmosphere can be experienced almost every evening. The Spittelberg area also comprises small art galleries, and artists display their work in the restaurants. At one time, attractive bar maids offered “additional services”, and legend has it that Emperor Joseph II once decided to explore the Spittelberg district for himself. However, when, in disguise, he entered the Witwe Bolte (Widow Bolte) restaurant, still open today, he was unceremoniously thrown out. Nos. 18 and 20 Spittelberggasse are fine Baroque houses. The beautifully restored Amerlinghaus, in which the painter Friedrich Amerling (1803—87) was born, is now a cultural and community centre, and a restaurant. A little further along, between Siebensterngasse and Mariahilfer Strasse, is an enclosed area around former barracks now housing the Military Academy, and the Stiftkirche, topped with an onion-shaped cupola, which serves as a garrison church. Its walls are lined with very expressive Rococo reliefs.

Spittelberg Photo Gallery

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