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Private 3-Hour History Tour: Architecture of Red Vienna

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2 travellers
    What to Expect
    The end of World War I saw the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and 600 years of Hapsburg rule. In 1919 the socialists won an absolute majority in Vienna city government, a position of power they maintained until 1934. This 15-year period was known as Red Vienna. To lead Vienna out of the rubble of defeat and into a new era, the government introduced numerous legislative initiatives, tackling labors rights and public housing.

    On a 3-hour guided walk you’ll experience the fascinating and gargantuan Art Deco public housing estates that were built in the 1920s and 30s on the outskirts of the city. A total of 60,000 new apartment units were constructed between 1925 and 1934. These estates are striking to explore and learn about, as they were built to be ideal worlds with small but practical housing units, common baths, public squares, and communal green areas. Spaces were allotted for shops, libraries, theaters, kindergartens, medical clinics, laundromats, and political clubs.

    Visit 2 such council estates on this tour. The most famous and largest is Karl Marx-Hof, dubbed the Ringstrasse of the Proletariot. It was built by urban planner Karl Ehn, a follower of the city’s famous Art Nouveau architect, Otto Wagner. Just a short metro ride from Karl Marx Hof is the second estate on the tour, the Reumannhof.

    With a historian as your guide you’ll learn about the political vision behind the civic functions incorporated into these housing complexes, as well as the sophisticated aesthetic philosophies that were introduced. The overriding goal was to create humble but charming structures in an Art Deco vernacular that would provide lower middle class and working class Viennese with a new sense of community and social uplift.

    You’ll also learn about the clumsy propaganda of the socialist politicians and the naïve failings of their attempts to produce a utopian solution for the massive post war social problems in the city. In the end, insurmountable economic devastation led both to the defeat of Vienna’s socialist experiment and to the takeover of Austria in 1938 by the Nazis.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Anker bakery shop, 1200 Vienna, Austria

    Traveler pickup is offered
    Unless hotel pick up has been arranged, please meet your guide 15 minutes before start time and the default meeting point, Anker Bakery.
    Return Details
    Vienna, Austria
    • Guided walk through the architecture of Red Vienna
    • Professional guide
    • Food and drinks, unless specified
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
    • Transportation to/from attractions: You will need to use public transport a few times, since the distances between some key sites would be too far to walk. If you will not have a few days visitor's transit pass to Vienna already, we suggest that you purchase the day metro pass. If you cannot purchase it in advance, your guide will help you purchase it at the first metro station on the tour.
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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    This tour hasn't been reviewed quite yet; however, this tour's operator has 41 reviews.

    By: Insight Cities Vienna
    41 Reviews
    Huntington Beach, California
    Outstanding tour guide!
    We booked a historian guide for our first visit to Schonbrunn palace with Insight Cities. Meeting spot was excellent. We were lucky to have Ilse as our guide who has lived in Vienna all her life. She took care of our tickets, got our backpack and umbrella checked in and we were off to the gardens. She kept us on schedule without feeling rushed at anytime. Her passion and knowledge of Vienna made the Habsburg Dynasty come to life in this informative three hour tour. She described each Habsburg member to bring them to life. We loved that her personal insights were helpful additions to our tour. She is very knowledgeable about the historical events that occurred and explained them in ways that were easy to follow. We were so blessed to have a personal guide who can immediately answer our questions and add to the details of what we experienced. Ilse made the tour of the Palace 100% enjoyable! Thank you, Ilse!
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    London, United Kingdom
    Klimpt..the kiss
    Our visit was short but we were able to see the gardens and fountains. Inside the palace which was built as a summer palace for prince Eugène of Savoy they house a collection of Klimpt paintings 2hich include the kiss.In addition there are paintings by Scheile .
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    Gottfried E
    Excellent Tour - Exceptional Guide
    The tour was perfect in length and showed us everything we wanted to see. Ilse, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable and had a fun and hospitable personality. I would highly recommend this tour.
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    Uniontown, Ohio
    This is the company to use if visiting Vienna
    My wife and I visited Central Europe on vacation this month and had an incredibly great time! We used this company (after extensive research on my wife's part) for our guides in both Prague and Vienna and couldn't be happier. The cheapest option? Nope. The best? Yes! We prefer private guides who will work with our needs, our timelines, our interests, and who are completely flexible. This company is all of that. We travel to seek local culture and history and art and architecture and such. This company is all of that. We spent several days with our guide (not all day, since we enjoy time just exploring on our own, but enough to get us what we couldn't possibly get on our own) and she was fantastic. We felt like we got to know her and her to know us...that really helps with all the rest of the learning and immersion into what this city has to show us. When we go back, we will call upon this company again. When we have friends and colleagues thinking of visiting Vienna, we will send them without hesitation to this company. Thanks much for a great vacation!
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    Bidford-on-Avon, United Kingdom
    Highly Recommended
    For me this was the highlight of our break. Our guide Ilse was excellent, a natural communicator with a clear passion for the history of Vienna, and we thoroughly enjoyed spending 3 hours in her company as we saw, listened and learned. With just four of us in the party we had plenty of opportunities to ask questions and this made for a highly interactive tour. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of the city and the Habsburg Monarchy.
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    Delray Beach, Florida
    Great Tour and Guide
    My tour guide Suzzanne was amazing. A professor and historian she made Vienna come alive and although booked as a small group tour I lucked out and had my guide all to myself! A great way to see the highlights of the city.
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    Mark S
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Our guide was so informative and interesting. She spent so much time with us. We walked for hours around the grounds and palace. Best tour ever.
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    Fantastic, just fantastic
    Our tour guide Ilse is so knowledgeable. It was truly wonderful to be immersed in the history and culture of Vienna. Her love for the city was so evident, and inspired us to further investigate and experience things she touched on during the tour.
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    London, United Kingdom
    Attractive palace and gardens
    We had free entrance to this venue with our Vienna Pass, but it’s not worth it to see inside, as it’s mostly just an art exhibition. The outside of the building, the gardens and fountains are all that’s worth going to see, they are stunning, and free to visit.
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    Anne C
    Great tour and tour guide!!
    We arrived in Vienna with only one full day to enjoy the sights. A tour of the Belvedere was recommended and did not disappoint!! We arrived a little early and had no problem getting in. Our tour guide Alan met us at the ticket office as scheduled. We went through the Belvedere receiving highlights of the art and artists as well as the history of the Vienna. Other tourists recognized that Alan was doing such a great job that they listened in and even started to ask him questions. We all enjoyed listening. A note to seniors: be prepared for climbing steps. Not stopping with the Belvedere, Alan added on a walking tour and even guided us through the city on public transportation. Nothing bad about the tour other than the light rain during our walking tour that did not detract from the visit. Thanks Alan for making this one of our very best tours! We would have never had such a great day and visit to Vienna without this tour. We will return!
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    Lagos, Portugal
    Artfully stunning
    I waited a long time in a couple of lineups to get into the art gallery but so worth it. Several rooms of assorted artists which was amazing. Klimt's works was worth the wait, he was such an inspiration to see. Wear good shoes and plan on being there about three hours, well worth it!
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    ki t
    Singapore, Singapore
    Enchanting! Must see
    Belvedere Palace Gardens is truly enchanting. Its worth the visit and do allow at least 2 to 3 hours, more if you can to grab a coffee @ the cafe. We finished off our visit with a raspberry chocolate cake and lemon tarte. Memorable visit and highly recommended.
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    London, United Kingdom
    Fascinating tour with some Great Quirks
    Suzzanne was a fantastic guide with a depth of knowledge and an understanding of what interested us. As well as the main sights she took us on little detours to the crypt and the Treasury where we nipped through - just stopping at the interesting points for some background. St Stephens (packed and horrid) was a must but she whisked us to the side to see the architect's weary head and shoulders tucked away on the left. Lovely interesting lady
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    Amazing Tour with Fantastic Tour Guide
    Our guide, an historian and an expert in the history of gardens, was incredibly knowledgeable. I learned so much about the history of Schonbrunn and the city of Vienna. I highly recommend this experience.
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    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Fans of Gustavklimt
    We came for this to Vienna to see Gustav Klimt art work exhibition in Belvedere Palace ! Very big place we could not finish the outside park tour, it was huge and also it was raining and very windy Anyway it ‘s something I would recommend to visit if you are in arts 😊
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