Kultur- und Themenführungen - Wien Fremdenführer - Wien

Cultural walking tours - Vienna

Guided tours - Vienna



 Biedermeier Vienna: culture and life during the period of Restoration



The term of “Biedermeier”, particularly characteristic for Vienna, means middle-class culture, art and way of life in the period of Restoration between 1815 and 1848. The ultra-conservative policy of the Metternich regime restrained political emancipation and caused the withdrawal of the burghers’ class into the sphere of privacy and domestic life. Therefore the main subjects of Biedermeier painting are family settings, bourgeois interiors and scenes from everyday life which convey a sense of order and harmony. Precious furniture, glassware, porcelain, textiles and jewellery show the remarkable quality of Biedermeier crafts and arts. The Restoration is also a great season of Austrian music (Beethoven, Schubert) and theatre (Grillparzer, Nestroy).





The walk starts in the Lenaugasse (8th district) which shows a well-preserved ensemble of burghers’ houses built in the 1820s and 1830s. The next sight is the marvellous Volksgarten, a typical Biedermeier garden with a characteristic temple (Theseustempel) and the monument of the most important Austrian classical dramatist: Franz Grillparzer. Corti’s famous coffeehouse, a popular dancing place in the pre-March period where Johann Strauss the Elder and Joseph Lanner used to perform, can still be seen in the western corner of the park. We will then go by tram to the municipal museum of the City of Vienna (Wien Museum) which has an excellent Biedermeier collection. The highlight of the museum is Grillparzer’s entirely preserved apartment which gives you a lively impression of the middle class living standard during the period of Restoration. The summit of the walk is the visit of the Biedermeier gallery in the Upper Belvedere with masterpieces of Amerling, Danhauser, Fendi, Gauermann and Waldmüller.



Practical information


MEETING POINT: at the corner of Josefstätter Strasse and Lenaugasse (8th district).

ADMISSION FEES: Wien Museum; Oberes Belvedere (Upper Belvedere).

DURATION: the tour takes 3,5 hours.

END OF THE TOUR: Oberes Belvedere.

ADVICE: Please have tickets for the public transport ready before the tour starts. We use the tram from Volksgarten to Karlsplatz and from Karlsplatz to the Belvedere.

FURTHER READING: Nicholas T. Parson, Vienna. A Cultural and Literary History, Oxford 2008.