Kultur- und Themenführungen - Wien Fremdenführer - Wien

Cultural walking tours - Vienna

Guided tours - Vienna



Art and architecture around 1900: the golden age of Viennese Art Nouveau. A walking tour to experience Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner.




Fin-de-siècle-Vienna is one of the most fascinating intellectual and artistic foci of European modernity. The social disintegration and irrevocable decay of the Habsburg Empire brought forth a highly sensuous culture attracted more by the exploration of the inner world than by political reality. Sensuality, refined eroticism and inwardness are the leading principles of Klimt’s pictorial style. But even Otto Wagner’s pure and simple architecture with its brilliant gold and flower decoration pays its tribute to Viennese Art Nouveau ornamentation.




The guided tour starts at the underground station »Kettenbrückengasse« with Otto Wagner’s marvellous apartment houses on the Wienzeile. We will then walk through the lively Naschmarkt whose flair is reminiscent of an oriental bazaar. The first highlight of the tour is the Secession Pavilion where we will be able to admire a major work of Gustav Klimt: the Beethoven Frieze. Otto Wagner’s ancient railway stations on Karlsplatz show Art Nouveau at its best: corrugated copper roofs cover a modernist steel skeleton filled with precious marble plates. The tour ends at Otto Wagner’s unique Postal Savings Bank where art nouveau develops into pure and functional forms. The visit of the counter-hall is possible during work days, not on Saturday and Sunday.



Practical information


MEETING POINT: underground station U4 Kettenbrückengasse (exit: Kettenbrückengasse)
DURATION: The tour lasts for about 2,5 hours.

END OF THE TOUR: Postal Savings Bank  (Postsparkasse).
ADMISSION FEES: adults: 9 €, students, seniors: 5,50 for the Beethoven-Frieze.
PRACTICAL ADVICE: It is recommended to have a public transportation ticket ready before the tour starts. We will take the underground from »Karlsplatz« to »Landstrasse«. Tickets are available in the underground stations or the tobacco shops.   

FURTHER READING: Carl Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna. Politics and Culture, New York 1981.