Augarten Vienna, Flakturm, colorful meadow with flowers Photo: Olaf Luft

Vienna and its Flak Towers

Vienna is Sachertorte.
Vienna is Sissi.
Vienna is elegance, pleasure, great history, and - war.

  • Vienna's Flak Towers
  • Aqua Terra Zoo - a former flak tower
  • Stiftskaserne and the bunker for the political tops
  • Augarten

Vienna and the history of war

Thinking about Vienna and wars, the history-minded visitor knows about the siege of the Ottoman troops in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Nowadays, of course, one thinks mainly of the war in Ukraine and World War 2. Similar to Berlin, Vienna was divided into 4 sectors (Soviet, US, French, English) after the end of the war. However, this period of occupation ended as early as 1955.

A lasting memory of this time created the film "The Third Man", from a screenplay by Graham Green. Film recommendation ­čśŐ (We even have an EasyCityPass Vienna partner, which deals with this topic).

To this day, there are monumental structures in Vienna that tower over the city like huge memorials to the devastating WW2: Vienna's flak towers. There are 6 of them, at 3 locations, arranged in a triangle in the center of which is St. Stephen's Cathedral.

These flak towers were also high bunkers, always placed in pairs. One mainly with technical measuring equipment as a fire control tower, the other as a combat tower. The fact that these towers are still standing today was partly due to their location in the middle of residential areas, which made demolition difficult.

Therefore, after the war, they were partly given a use, which, in addition to the reminder of the war, also makes the continuation of life after wars clearer.

My suggestion is to look at them and also what is in them and around them.

Aqua Terra Zoo, Flak tower, exterior view Photo: Olaf Luft
Aqua Terra Zoo

Auqa Terra Zoo, Climbing Wall, Gaming Museum, MAK and more.

Let's start at the Aqua Terra Zoo - Haus des Meeres (U3 Neubaugasse subway station) in Esterhazypark - one of those towers.

Besides its wonderful use as an "indoor zoo", it is an architectural masterpiece with its huge glass facade. It also offers a huge climbing wall and - a little insider tip - its caf├ę on the roof is a blast!

At the foot of the tower, you'll find the Gaming Museum in the former war bunker. Here you can not only trace gaming history but also recreate what it felt like to be in war bunkers.

Its counterpart is around the corner in the Stiftskaserne. This one, however, is used by the army and it is considered a bunker for the country's political top brass to this day.

On foot barely an hour from here you can admire the next towers, in the middle of the residential area in Arenbergpark in the 3rd district. The Museum of Applied Arts, MAK uses them as an art depot. You can only visit them from the outside, but it's worth it because the whole area is a piece of authentic Viennese life.

Aqua Terra Zoo, Reptiles, sitting in therarium with green plants around them Photo: Olaf Luft
Aqua Terra Zoo

Augarten

Let's finish our little tour in a wonderful park. Again barely an hour on foot, we arrive at the Augarten. Here, too, you can only visit the towers from the outside - but that doesn't matter at all. The star is a diverse park. Its sea of flowers and this monstrosity of buildings form quite a charming, perhaps somewhat bizarre symbiosis.

Once you're here, make time for the porcelain museum and the porcelain manufactory. The caf├ę next to it is definitely a personal recommendation.

Augarten, Vienna, view of the flak tower, summer meadow Photo: Olaf Luft
Augarten

PS: Why we recommend this tour on foot - it's simple - you'll pass lots of VIENNA and get to know the city the Viennese way.

Your Olaf from the EasyCityPass team

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