Austria

Dr. Harald Leupold-Löwenthal, a lifelong resident of Vienna, is the president of the Sigmund Freud Society and the director of the Sigmund Freud Museum.

“LITTLE TIDBITS”

Harald Leupold-Löwenthal’s analysis of a day in Vienna

“You can’t see much of a city in twenty-four hours. It would only be like something you serve as an hors d’oeuvre, you see, little tidbits. In Vienna, to my mind, the best thing would be to do it on foot, because the city of Vienna, the inner city, the First District, is small enough that you can, at your leisure, have a very nice walk and see a lot. I would start at Stephansplatz, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and walk down Graben and Kohlmarkt to the Imperial Palace, the Hofburg, and then to the left, to Josefsplatz, where you have a very nice gallery, the Stallburg gallery, with interesting pictures of late-nineteenthand twentieth-century, mainly Austrian, painters. And it would be nice to visit the Great Hall of the National Library, which has one of the hugest collections of Baroque books. From there, you could walk through the Hofburg and down the Ring and see the Town Hall and the Burgtheater, and then you could visit one of Vienna’s coffeehouses, Café Landtmann. So far this is a walk of about an hour. If you are very interested in painting, you could just look into the Museum of Fine Arts and have a look at the Breughel paintings, because it’s a unique collection. It would take too much time to look at the others.

On our walk down Kohlmarkt to the Hofburg there’s the Loos house, by Adolf Loos, but for architecture you must take a taxi. There is a magnificent building by Otto Wagner, the Postsparkasse, and the Church of the Psychiatric Hospital of the City of Vienna, on the Steinhof. If you’ve got some time you could drive up to Nussdorfer to look at the wonderful water gate—not the American one, but the gate for the water of the Danube, which Wagner also did.

If you want other cafés, near the Landtmann, on Rooseveltplatz, there’s a very modern café called the Café Stein, by a group of young Austrian architects. The Café Sperl, on Gumpendorfer Strasse, is nice because it’s very old-fashioned. You can walk from there to the Linke Wienzeile to look at the Otto Wagner houses, which are beautifully restored, near Naschmarkt, which is a fascinating market for fruits and vegetables and so on. On Saturday you have the antique market there, which is also interesting. And on your way back, you can have a look at the Secession building, and the Karlskirche, which is beautiful. So on this walk, if you want to, you can see quite a lot of things.

I didn’t give you any Heurigen, or wine gardens, and let’s not forget the Sigmund Freud Museum, on Berggasse, where you can spend as much time as you wish. It’s a small museum but very interesting.

Oh yes, one more thing is very important, You should take the time to make a walk in the Prater; it’s a beautiful park. It has huge chestnut trees. You could have lunch at the Lusthaus, for instance.”

—interviewed by Don Rubin