Schwedenplatz, the Swedish Square, is one of Vienna’s busiest spots. Here, on the banks of the Danube Canal, under Schwedenbrucke, is a landing stage with riverboats inviting visitors on to a variety of pleasure cruises. Another attraction awaits at 3: an Italian ice-cream parlour, reputed to sell the best ice cream in Vienna. In Laurenzberg, on one side of Schwedenplatz, remains of the old town wall can be seen, with a metal ring that was used to tie up horses and an old sign with traffic regulations. Steep, narrow steps lead down to Griechenbeisl, a small cosy Greek bar. Visitors are welcomed by a board showing the Lieber Augustin; from the entrance hall you can see down to a small, illuminated cellar where his statue is on display. The story of Augustin, a piper, goes back to the times of the Great Plague in Vienna. In a drunken stupor, he slumped into the gutter. When undertakers mistook him for dead and threw him into a plague pit, he woke up and terrified them by singing: O du lieber Augustin… (Oh, dear Augustin). Miraculously, he survived, and today, tourists wishing to return to Vienna throw a coin into the cellar.

Schwedenplatz Photo Gallery

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