03 Denkmal Joseph II

Squares in Vienna | Vienna now and then # 2022

Heritage Austria | Historic places in Vienna

Not so long ago, Vienna was a rather gray and unwelcoming city. Apart from the inner city and a few leafy outskirts, there was little that pleased the eye. This has changed radically in the last few decades. Even former no-go zones such as the Gasometer or the Danube Canal are now lively urban areas that people appreciate to linger. 

Susanne Pleisnitzer has scoured the ORF archive for older recordings of corners of Vienna and shows how much the city has changed at these places. It's hard to imagine today how traffic worked before the subway was built, when cars were still roaring along Kärntnerstrasse and Stephansplatz.

Production | Clever Contents GmbH on behalf of ORF III

Genre | documentary

Director | Suzanne Pleisnitzer

Production manager I Saskia Netousek

Length | 2 episodes x 45 minutes

Year of production | 2022

First broadcast | September, 20 and 27, 2022 in Erbe Österreich on ORF III

Saskia Netousek
+43 699 100 56 296


03 Denkmal Joseph II
09 Freyung
07 Michaelerplatz
08 Wolflingseder Hohenlohe
06 Sperl Hohenlohe
04 Maurer Hohenlohe
05 Karlsplatz
01 Josefsplatz
02 Mustapic Hohenlohe
10 Schwarzenbergplatz
02 Sdg 02 PROMO 3
08 Schwarzenbergplatz
09 Denkmal Fürst Schwarzenberg
06 Ignaz Seipel Platz
02 Sdg 02 PROMO 1
07 Jesuitenkirche
05 Katrin Unterreiner
03 Huber Wendt Hohenlohe
04 Neuer Markt
02 Coudenhove Hohenlohe
01 Albertina Soravia Flügel

Episode 1

Vienna, the world-famous imperial city, where the houses, streets and alleys tell stories.

Stories from the monarchy, stories from the people and the nobility, from victories and defeats - and from events that still have an impact today.

Stories from different directions come together in many squares in Vienna.

For example at Josefsplatz - almost an inner courtyard of the Hofburg - which has been repeatedly changed over the centuries by the most prominent Habsburgs.

Or at the huge Karlsplatz, today's center, which not so long ago was still a natural landscape.

The outgoing monarchy and the early days of the city meet at Michaelerplatz.

Power and religion meet at the Freyung - and an age-old misunderstanding: Because here in the Schottenviertel there were never Scots.

Fashions and sensitivities, prosperity and poverty, fortunes and heydays: anyone who knows the stories about Vienna's squares will see them with completely new eyes.

Episode 2

On foot through Vienna's old town - the streets, lanes and squares tell of a time when the residential city was still surrounded by city walls and gates.

And they tell of Vienna's heyday, when these gates and walls fell under Emperor Franz Jospeh and the city became a magnificent metropolis.

Such as at the fateful Albertinaplatz, where the Kaiser narrowly escaped being murdered. The bastion gives an idea of ​​what it felt like to stroll along the old city walls.

The history of the Neuer Markt takes us back to the Middle Ages - the square that is still the final resting place of the most famous Habsburg emperors and their closest relatives.

Here lie people who have helped to write Europe's history.

A true discovery is the inconspicuous Dr. Ignaz Seipel Platz, which used to be the heart of the old university district. An important university that was once the second largest in Central Europe!

Schwarzenbergplatz has made more recent history: it was here that the basis was negotiated that defines today's Austria: the state treaty that liberated the republic from the occupying powers of the Second World War.

Viennese squares and their stories:

With the careful preservation of monuments and the care of architectural gems, it is ensured that Austria's heritage will inspire future generations.

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