Why was Salzburg called „Stadt der Lebensforschung“ by the Nazis?

Why was Salzburg called „Stadt der Lebensforschung“ by the Nazis?

Wikipedia states, that the city of Salzburg (Austria) was called „Stadt der Lebensforschung“ as honorary city title.

Is there any source that describes why?

I strongly doubt labeling Salzburg as "Stadt der Lebensforschung" was some sort of official honorary title. As far as I see, the only source for this title is an article in the "Salzburger Landeszeitung" (in those times, an Austrian national socialist's newspaper; not to be confused with a modern-day government gazette holding the same name) by Eduard Paul Tratz - Austrian zoologist and founder of Salzburg's "Haus der Natur". The article is titled "Salzburg - Stadt der Lebensforschung". Tratz joined the SS and the infamous "Ahnenerbe" society in 1938/39; maybe he planned to enlarge the "Haus der Natur" towards an institute for "Darstellende und angewandte Naturkunde", as one of the prospective "Ahnenerbe" institutes.

Honorary titles of towns in the Third Reich

There's no evidence that "Stadt der Lebensforschung" was in fact an "official" honorary title of Salzburg (see also the german Wikipedia on such honorary titles). Theoretically, it would have been possible to attribute such a title to Salzburg. In 1935, in Germany the "Deutsche Gemeindeordnung" was issued, implementing the "Führerprinzip" also on a local level. § 9 of the Gemeindeordnung stated regarding the names of municipalities:

"(… ) Der Reichsstatthalter kann nach Anhörung der Gemeinde Bezeichnungen verleihen oder ändern".

Here we have the legal base to assign official honorary titles to a town. The Gemeindeordnung was applicable in Austria, too, since October 1938.

But, in contrast to other towns who received such a "honorary title", there is no evidence regarding Salzburg. IMHO, the strongest proof for this is how the Reichsgesetzblatt (abbr. RGBl) referred to diverse towns. There were different statutes issued concering matters of, e.g, Munich, Nuremberg or Salzburg. In the case of Munich or Nuremberg, in the statute's title the "honorary title" of the town was used, but not in the case of Salzburg. For example, there are two statues dating from january 16, 1942, the first referring to Salzburg, the second to Munich:

Zweiter Erlass des Führers und Reichskanzlers über städtebauliche Maßnahmen in der Stadt Salzburg. (RGBl I 1942, 26)

Zweiter Erlass des Führers über die Neugestaltung der Hauptstadt der Bewegung. (RGBl I 1942, 45)

And a little later (march 3, 1942), regarding Nuremberg:

Zweiter Erlass des Führers und Reichskanzlers über städtebauliche Maßnahmen in der Stadt der Reichsparteitage Nürnberg. (RGBl I 1942, 115)

This is backed by the evidence of Google Book's NGram search. For the official "honorary titles", there's a obvious peak around 1940; in contrary, for the title "Stadt der Lebensforschung", the NGram index isn't able to provide even a single hit.

So, it seems that this "title" wasn't actually used by anyone, neither official sources nor other contemporary publications.

Salzburg as "Stadt der Lebensforschung"

In fact, there wasn't actually any reason to label Salzburg as "Stadt der Lebensforschung". It's quite doubtful if "Lebensforschung" could be equalized with "life sciences" / "natural sciences" - I don't think that this identification is justified. Nevertheless, before 1938, there wasn't any notable research institution situated in Salzburg devoted to natural sciences / life sciences. Salzburg was certainly not seen as a "center of life sciences", neither by its inhabitants nor from outside. The "Große Brockhaus", dating from 1935, labeled Salzburg as "Markt- and ruhige Wohnstadt, Verwaltungssitz und bedeutenden Fremdenverkehrsplatz". Regarding educational institutes, the Brockhaus states:

"Die 1623 gegründete Universität wurde 1810 aufgelöst. doch besteht noch eine theol. Fakultät und ein Priesterseminar. S. hat ferner: 2 Gymnasien, 2 Realgymnasien, Realschule, Lehrer- und Lehrerinnenbildungsanstalt, Handels- und Gewerbeschule, Hebammenanstalt, 5 geistl. Erziehungsanstalten, städt. Museum, Mozartmuseum, naturwissenschaftliche Sammlung, Musikschule Mozarteum, Künsterhaus, Theater, Studienbibliothek (128021 Bde.)".

The "Volks-Brockhaus" (1943) points to the "Reichsmusikhochschule Mozarteum" and the Festspielhaus (Salzburger Festspiele); but for both encyclopediae, there was no reason to label it as "center of natural sciences". This would rather apply to other German towns (for example, Heidelberg or Tübingen) who would have raised heavy objections against such a "official" title attributed to a town almost totally lacking any scientific merits. From the point of view of the German government, such a title would rather fit to one of the new "Reichsuniversitäten", esp. Straßburg with its medical faculty. There's only the "Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlung", presumably referring to the "Haus der Natur" (see below) - but that museum wan't primarily a scientific institution.

As interim result, we may state that Salzburg wasn't a widely (nationwide) acknowledged centre of life sciences, and there's no evidence that the title was actually used.

Projected "Lebensforschung" institutes

As far as i see, there's only one single publication that actually used the label "Stadt der Lebensforschung", as mentioned above. In that long and detailed article, Tratz refers to a meeting named "Wissenschaftswoche" that took place in 1939 at Salzburg, organized by the infamous "Ahnenerbe" society (the 1940 meeting had to be canceled because of the German assault on France):

Die Forschungs- und Lehrgemeinschaft „Das Ahnenerbe" des Reichsführers SS Himmler trat in Salzburg vor einem Jahre mit ihrer ersten „Wissenschaftswoche" erstmalig als akademische Künderin eines Teiles ihrer Forschungsleistungen vor die europäische Öffentlichkeit. (… ) Von selbst bilden sich (… ) hier und dort dauernde Sammelpunkte der Arbeit, und hierzu gehört bekanntlich auch das Salzburger „Haus der Natur"; dies ist sogar dazu ausersehen, das Mutterhaus einer ganzen Reihe von Instituten zu werden, die sich fachlich wie örtlich um die biologische Zentrale gruppieren werden. (Salzburger Landeszeitung, 31. August 1940, S. 12 - reprinted in Floirmair et al., "Nationalsozialismus und Krieg", 1993, p. 196)

This refers to the "Haus der Natur", founded by Tratz and others in the year 1924 as "Salzburger Museum für darstellende und angewandte Naturkunde" (museum for exhibitve and applied natural history), renamed to "Haus der Natur" in the year 1936. According to Tratz, his museum was designated as nucleus for a number of scientific institutions, all connected to the "Ahnenerbe" society, thus making Salzburg in fact a centre of "Lebensforschung" - not to be confused with "common" life sciences or natural history, but rather some sort of "science" propagated by the Nazis as basis for their racist ideology (this, IMHO, makes clear why there are only few references to the "Stadt der Lebensforschung" after 1945… ).

This "Lebensforschung" was part of an ideological policy, supported and boosted by Friedrich Rainer, in those days Gauleiter of the Salzburg area. Rainer tried hard to win Othenio Abel as head of a proposed research institute named "Institut für Lebensgeschichte". In 1940, Abel was Emeritus professor, and he was connected to the "Haus der Natur". As long-term goal, Rainer dreamed of a SS university to be founded in Salzburg that should be closely linked to the "Ahnenerbe" society. All these plans were never implemented - so, after 1945, only the "Haus der Natur" remained, with Tratz as head again after 1949.


As far as I see, Salzburg wasn't officially labeled "Stadt der Lebensforschung" by the Nazi goverment. This label was rather used by people connected to the "Ahnenerbe" society and the SS, denoting a project to develop Salzburg as home of some "research" institutes - but that project was never implemented at all.

Further literature

  • Michael H. Kater: Das "Ahnenerbe" der SS 1935-1945. Munich 1997, esp. pp. 97; 284.
  • Gerd Kerschbaumer: Das Deutsche Haus der Natur zu Salzburg, in: Posch/Fliedl, Politik der Präsentation, Vienna 1996, p. 180-212;
  • Robert Hoffmann: Ein Museum für Himmler. Eduard Paul Tratz und die Integration des Sazburger "Hauses der Natur" in das "Ahnenerbe" der SS, in: zeitgeschichte 2008, p. 154-175.
  • Eduard Paul Tratz, Salzbug, die Stadt der Lebensforschung. In: Salzburger Landeszeitung, vol. 3 (1940), Nr. 205, 31.08./01.09.1940, p. 12-13.

It is because Salzburg was the center of life sciences, or what was formerly called "natural science," in Germany. This includes the study of medicine. Paracelsus settled in Salzburg and this is the city he is associated with. The Association of German Naturalists and Physicians frequently met at Salzburg. There was a famous Lyzeum in Salzburg dedicated to medicine and natural science. Salzburg has always had a well-regarded medical school. This is not to say other places had good natural science, but basically the two things Salzburg was famous for was being the hometown of Mozart and being a center for the study of medicine and the natural sciences.

In Germany under the Nazi regime it was somewhat of a fad to give both places and people nicknames or unofficial titles as a sort of a role label. The idea was that everything and everybody was to be employed in some specific way and role, noone left out. The Germans actually used to joke about this at the time and give each other silly titles, like Herr Meister Car Polisher, or whatever.


Schaffhausen (German: [ʃafˈhaʊzn̩] ( listen ) Alemannic German: Schafuuse French: Schaffhouse Italian: Sciaffusa Romansh: Schaffusa English: Shaffhouse ) is a town with historic roots, a municipality in northern Switzerland, and the capital of the canton of the same name it has an estimated population of 36,000 as of December 2016. [update] It is located right next to the shore of the High Rhine it is one of four Swiss towns located on the northern side of the Rhine, along with Neuhausen am Rheinfall , the historic Neunkirch , and medieval Stein am Rhein .

The old portion of the town has many fine Renaissance era buildings decorated with exterior frescos and sculpture, as well as the old canton fortress, the Munot. Schaffhausen is also a railway junction of Swiss and German rail networks. One of the lines connects the town with the nearby Rhine Falls in Neuhausen am Rheinfall , Europe's largest waterfall, a tourist attraction.

The official language of Schaffhausen is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.


The name of the city, Graz, formerly spelled Gratz, [8] most likely stems from the Slavic gradec, which means "small castle". Some archaeological finds point to the erection of a small castle by Alpine Slavic people, which over time became a heavily defended fortification. [9] In literary Slovene, gradec still means "small castle", forming a hypocoristic derivative of Proto-West-South Slavic *gradьcъ, whichs descends via liquid metathesis from Common Slavic *gardьcъ and via the Slavic third palatalisation from Proto-Slavic *gardiku, originally denoting "small town, settlement". The name thus follows the common South Slavic pattern for naming settlements as grad. The German name 'Graz' first appears in records in 1128.

Graz is situated on both sides of the Mur river in southeast Austria. It is about 150 km (93 mi) southwest of Vienna (Wien). The nearest larger urban centre is Maribor (Marburg) in Slovenia, which is about 50 km (31 mi) to the south. Graz is the state capital and largest city in Styria, a green and heavily forested region on the eastern edge of the Alps. It is located in the Graz Basin and surrounded by mountains and hills to the north, east and west. The city center sits at an elevation of 353 m (1,158 ft), the highest point is Plabutsch mountain with 754 m (2,474 ft) at the western border. The mountain Schöckl is just a few kilometers to the north and surmounts the city by 1,100 m (3,600 ft).

Neighbouring municipalities Edit

These towns and villages border Graz:

Districts Edit

Graz is divided into 17 municipal districts (Stadtbezirke):

I. Innere Stadt (3,389)
II. St. Leonhard (16,122)
III. Geidorf (25,168)
IV. Lend (31,753)
V. Gries (29,308)
VI. Jakomini (33,554)
VII. Liebenau (14,562)
VIII. St. Peter (15,291)
IX. Waltendorf (12,066)

X. Ries (5,886)
XI. Mariatrost (9,737)
XII. Andritz (19,129)
XIII. Gösting (11,309)
XIV. Eggenberg (20,801)
XV. Wetzelsdorf (15,779)
XVI. Straßgang (16,341)
XVII. Puntigam (8,745)

The oldest settlement on the ground of the modern city of Graz dates back to the Copper Age. However, no historical continuity exists of a settlement before the Middle Ages.

During the 12th century, dukes under Babenberg rule made the town into an important commercial center. Later, Graz came under the rule of the Habsburgs and, in 1281, gained special privileges from King Rudolph I.

In the 14th century, Graz became the city of residence of the Inner Austrian line of the Habsburgs. The royalty lived in the Schlossberg castle and from there ruled Styria, Carinthia, most of today's Slovenia, and parts of Italy (Carniola, Gorizia and Gradisca, Trieste).

In the 16th century, the city's design and planning were primarily controlled by Italian Renaissance architects and artists. One of the most famous buildings representative of this style is the Landhaus, designed by Domenico dell'Allio, and used by the local rulers as a governmental headquarters.

The University of Graz was founded by Archduke Karl II in 1585, it's the city's oldest university. For most of its existence, it was controlled by the Catholic church, and was closed in 1782 by Joseph II in an attempt to gain state control over educational institutions. Joseph II transformed it into a lyceum where civil servants and medical personnel were trained. In 1827 it was re-established as a university by Emperor Franz I, and was named 'Karl-Franzens Universität' or 'Charles-Francis University' in English. More than 30,000 students are currently enrolled at this university.

The astronomer Johannes Kepler lived in Graz for a short period. He worked as a math teacher and was a professor of mathematics at the University of Graz, but still found time to study astronomy. He left Graz for Prague when Lutherans were banned from the city.

Ludwig Boltzmann was Professor for Mathematical Physics from 1869 to 1890. During that time, Nikola Tesla studied electrical engineering at the Polytechnic in 1875. Nobel Laureate Otto Loewi taught at the University of Graz from 1909 until 1938. Ivo Andrić, the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate obtained his doctorate at the University of Graz. Erwin Schrödinger was briefly chancellor of the University of Graz in 1936.

Graz is centrally located within today's Bundesland (state) of Styria, or Steiermark in German. Mark is an old German word indicating a large area of land used as a defensive border, in which the peasantry is taught how to organize and fight in the case of an invasion. With a strategic location at the head of the open and fertile Mur valley, Graz was historically a target of invaders, such as the Hungarians under Matthias Corvinus in 1481, and the Ottoman Turks in 1529 and 1532. Apart from the Riegersburg Castle, the Schlossberg was the only fortification in the region that never fell to the Ottoman Turks. Graz is home to the region's provincial armory, which is the world's largest historical collection of late medieval and Renaissance weaponry. It has been preserved since 1551, and displays over 30,000 items.

From the earlier part of the 15th century, Graz was the residence of the younger branch of the Habsburgs, which succeeded to the imperial throne in 1619 in the person of Emperor Ferdinand II, who moved the capital to Vienna. New fortifications were built on the Schlossberg at the end of the 16th century. Napoleon's army occupied Graz in 1797. In 1809, the city withstood another assault by the French army. During this attack, the commanding officer in the fortress was ordered to defend it with about 900 men against Napoleon's army of about 3,000. He successfully defended the Schlossberg against eight attacks, but they were forced to give up after the Grande Armée occupied Vienna and the Emperor ordered to surrender. Following the defeat of Austria by Napoleonic forces at the Battle of Wagram in 1809, the fortifications were demolished using explosives, as stipulated in the Peace of Schönbrunn of the same year. The belltower (Glockenturm) [10] and the civic clock tower (Uhrturm), [11] which is a leading tourist attraction and serves as a symbol for Graz, were spared after the citizens of Graz paid a ransom for their preservation. [12]

Archduke Karl II of Inner Austria had 20,000 Protestant books burned in the square of what is now a mental hospital, and succeeded in returning Styria to the authority of the Holy See. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was born in Graz in what is now the Stadtmuseum (city museum).

On April 2, 1945, while the heaviest Allied bomb raid of Graz occurred, the Gestapo and Waffen-SS committed a massacre against resistance fighters, Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers, and POWs at the SS barracks at Graz-Wetzelsdorf. [13]

The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal-residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students. At the end of 2016 there were 33,473 people with secondary residence status in Graz. [14] [15]

Largest groups of foreign nationals [16]
Nationality Population
(1 January 2017)
Romania 8,093
Germany 7,761
Croatia 7,119
Bosnia and Herzegovina 6,790
Turkey 5,247
Hungary 4,020
Nigeria 2,849
Afghanistan 2,110
Italy 2,087

Oceanic climate is the type found in the city, [17] but due to the 0 °C isotherm, the same occurs in a humid continental climate with based in Köppen system (Cfb/Dfb borderline). Wladimir Köppen himself was in town and conducted studies to see how the climate of the past influenced the Continental Drift theory. [18] Due to its position southeast of the Alps, Graz is shielded from the prevailing westerly winds that bring weather fronts in from the North Atlantic to northwestern and central Europe. The weather in Graz is thus influenced by the Mediterranean, and it has more hours of sunshine per year than Vienna or Salzburg and also less wind or rain. Graz lies in a basin that is only open to the south, causing the climate to be warmer than would be expected at that latitude. [19] Plants are found in Graz that normally grow much further south.

  • average temperatures: Graz Airport 8.7 °C (48 °F) / Karl-Franzens University 9.4 °C (49 °F)
  • average rainfall: 818 mm (32 in) with on average 92 days of rain (Karl Franzens University)
  • average hours of sunshine: 1,989 (Karl Franzens University)
Climate data for Graz (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.0
Average high °C (°F) 2.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.0
Average low °C (°F) −3.8
Record low °C (°F) −20.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 23.9
Average snowfall cm (inches) 12.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 4.8 4.8 6.6 7.9 10.6 11.5 10.7 9.7 7.5 6.3 6.5 5.2 92.1
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 15.6 10.0 4.1 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.8 9.1 42.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 90.4 117.8 145.7 166.4 210.0 213.0 234.4 226.9 174.0 139.6 93.0 78.8 1,890
Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics [20]

Politically, culturally, scientifically and religiously, Graz was an important centre for all Slovenes, especially from the establishment of the University of Graz in 1586 until the establishment of University of Ljubljana in 1919. In 1574, the first Slovene Catholic book [sl] was published in Graz, and in 1592, Hieronymus Megiser published in Graz the book Dictionarium quatuor linguarum, the first multilingual dictionary of Slovene. [21]

The Styrian Slovenes did not consider Graz a German-speaking city, but their own, a place to study while living at their relatives' homes and to fulfill one's career ambitions. [ citation needed ] The student associations in Graz were a crucible of the Slovene identity, and the Slovene students in Graz were more nationally aware than some others. This led to fierce anti-Slovene efforts of German-speaking nationalists in Graz before and during World War II. [7]

Many Slovenian Styrians study there. Slovenes are among the professors at the Institute for Jazz in Graz. Numerous Slovenes have found employment there, while being formerly unemployed in Slovenia. [7] For the Slovene culture, Graz remains permanently important due to its university and the Universalmuseum Joanneum archives containing numerous documents from the Slovenian Styria. [7]

A symposium on the relation of Graz and the Slovenes was held in Graz in 2010, at the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the first and oldest chair of Slovene. It was established at the Lyzeum of Graz in July 1811 on the initiative of Janez Nepomuk Primic [sl] . [22] A collection of lectures on the topic was published. The Slovenian Post commemorated the anniversary with a stamp. [23]

For the year that Graz was Cultural Capital of Europe, new structures were erected. The Graz Museum of Contemporary Art (German: Kunsthaus) was designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier and is situated next to the Mur river. The Island in the Mur is a floating platform made of steel. It was designed by American architect Vito Acconci and contains a café, an open-air theatre and a playground.

Historic city centre Edit

The historic centre was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 [12] due to the harmonious co-existence of typical buildings from different epochs and in different architectural styles. Situated in a cultural borderland between Central Europe, Italy and the Balkan States, Graz absorbed various influences from the neighbouring regions and thus received its exceptional townscape. Today the historic centre consists of over 1,000 buildings, their age ranging from Gothic to contemporary.

The most important sights in the historic centre are:

  • Town Hall (Rathaus).
  • The Castle hill (German: Schlossberg), a hill dominating the historic centre (475 m (1,558.40 ft) high), site of a demolished fortress, with views over Graz.
  • The Clock Tower (Uhrturm) is a symbol of Graz, at the top of the Castle hill.
  • The New Gallery (Neue Galerie), a museum of art.
  • The Castle hill funicular (Schlossbergbahn), a funicular railway on the Castle hill's slope.
  • The seat of Styria's provincial parliament (Landhaus), a palace in Lombardic style. It is one of the most important examples of Renaissance architecture in Austria and was built by Italian architect Domenico dell'Allio between 1557 and 1565.
  • The Armoury (Landeszeughaus) is the largest of its kind in the world.
  • The Graz Opera House (Opernhaus), the principal venue for opera, ballet, and operetta performances. It is the 2nd largest opera house in Austria.
  • The Graz Theatre (Schauspielhaus), Graz's principal theatre for productions of plays.
  • The Cathedral (Dom), a rare monument of Gothic architecture. Once, there were many frescos on the outer walls today, only a few remain, like the Landplagenbild ("picture of plagues") painted in 1485, presumably by Thomas von Villach. The three plagues it depicts are locusts, pestilence and the invasion of the Turks, all of them striking the town in 1480. It features the oldest painted view of Graz.
  • The mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II next to the cathedral, the most important building of Mannerism in Graz. It includes both the grave where Ferdinand II and his wife are buried, and a church dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria.
  • The Castle (Burg), with Gothic double staircase, built between 1438 and 1453 by Emperor Frederick III, because the old castle on the Schlossberg hill was too small and uncomfortable. The castle remained the residence of the Inner Austrian Court until 1619. Today, it serves as residence for the Styrian government.
  • The Painted House (Gemaltes Haus) in Herrengasse 3. It is completely covered with frescos (painted in 1742 by Johann Mayer).
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art Graz (Kunsthaus)
  • The Island in the Mur (Murinsel), an artificial island in the Mur river.
  • Buildings, inner courtyards (e. g. Early Renaissance courtyard of the Former House of Teutonic Knights in Sporgasse 22) and roofscape of the old town.

Outside the historic city centre Edit

    (Schloss Eggenberg) a baroque palace on the western edge of Graz with State rooms and museum. In 2010 it was added to the existing World Heritage site of the historic centre of Graz.
  • The Mariatrost Basilica (Basilika Mariatrost) a late Baroque church, on the eastern edge of Graz.
  • The Jesus's Heart Church (Herz-Jesu-Kirche) is the largest church in Graz with the third highest spire in Austria, built in Gothic Revival style.
  • The Calvary Hill (Kalvarienberg) in the Gösting area of Graz with a 17th-century calvary and church.
  • The Graz University Hospital is the largest hospital in Graz and one of the largest hospitals in Austria. It's the largest Jugendstil building complex in Austria and was built between 1904 and 1912. It's run by the province Styria and is one of the most renowned hospitals in Austria and Central Europe.
  • Best viewpoints for vistas of the city are the Gösting Ruin (Ruine Gösting), a ruin of a hilltop castle on the city's northwestern edge, and Plabutsch/Fürstenstand, behind Eggenberg Palace, with a hilltop restaurant and viewing tower, as well as Buchkogel/Kronprinz-Rudolf-Warte.

Greater Graz area Edit

  • Österreichisches Freilichtmuseum Stübing, an open-air museum containing old farmhouses/farm buildings from all over Austria reassembled in historic setting.
  • Lurgrotte, the most extensive cave system in Austria.
  • Lipizzanergestüt Piber, Lipizzaner stud at Piber where the famous horses are bred.
  • The Steirische Weinstraße is a wine-growing region south of Graz, also known as the "Styrian Tuscany".
  • Thermenregion, spa region east of Graz.
  • Riegersburg Castle, a mighty fortress that was never taken. It was a bastion against Turkish invasions

For much of its post-war history Graz was a stronghold of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), but since the late 1990s the party has lost most of its support on a local level. It was overtaken by the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) in 2003, which has been the largest party in the city council (Gemeindesrat) ever since. With the decline of the SPÖ, the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ) has become highly popular in Graz, despite its negligible presence on a national level. The party placed third with 20.8% of votes in the 2003 local election, which has been attributed to the popularity of local leader Ernest Kaltenegger. The party fell to 11.2% in 2008, but recovered under new leader Elke Kahr, becoming the second most popular party in Graz with 19.9% in 2012 and 20.3% in 2017. The KPÖ's popularity in Graz allowed them to enter to the Styrian state parliament in the 2005 election, marking their first appearance in a state parliament in 35 years they have retained their seats in the subsequent 2010, 2015, and 2019 elections. [24]

The current mayor of Graz is Siegfried Nagl, serving in this office since 2003.

The most recent city council election was held on 5 February 2017, and the results were as follows:

Party Lead candidate Votes % +/- Seats +/- Coun. +/-
Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) Siegfried Nagl 47,639 37.79 4.05 19 2 3 ±0
Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ) Elke Kahr 25,645 20.34 0.48 10 ±0 2 1
Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) Mario Eustacchio 19,998 15.86 2.11 8 1 1 ±0
The Greens – The Green Alternative (GRÜNE) Tina Wirnsberger 13,254 10.51 1.63 5 1 1 ±0
Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) Michael Ehmann 12,668 10.05 5.26 5 2 0 1
NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum (NEOS) Niko Swatek 4,966 3.94 New 1 New 0 New
Pirate Party of Austria (PIRAT) Philip Pacanda 1,368 1.09 1.61 0 1 0 ±0
List WIR – Independent Citizens List Graz (WIR) Gerhard Mariacher 250 0.20 New 0 New 0 New
Einsparkraftwerk (ESK) Rainer Hermann Maichin 166 0.13 0.06 0 ±0 0 ±0
Tatjana Petrovic Tatjana Petrovic 115 0.09 New 0 New 0 New
Valid votes 126,069 98.57
Invalid votes 1,835 1.43
Total 127,904 100.00 48 ±0 7 ±0
Electorate/voter turnout 222,856 57.39 1.92
Source: Stadt Graz

During 2003 Graz held the title of "European Capital of Culture" and was one of the UNESCO "Cities of Design" in 2011.


Inequality and mistrust in female creative achievements extended to the choice of subject matter. “It was absolutely impossible to work with nude models at an art school”—thus the sculptor Ilse Twardowski-Conrat. The sculptor Teresa Feodorowna Ries is but one example of the Jewish women artists who suffered from this absolute ban. When she intended to sculpture her Luzifer, she had to admit to her teacher Hellmer that since she “had neither drawn nor modeled male studies” she “did not know if [she] would be capable of this task.” The majority had to turn to flower and animal painting (Rosa Eisenstein), engage in still life (Hedwig Rosenberg, Helene Stein [Vienna 1884–1945]), explore interiors (Emma Löwenstein [Nachod/Bohemia 1879–Prague 1941], Regina Kreidl), do landscape painting (Elsa Beck-Schwarz, Lisa Weissenstein [Vienna 1895–?], Elisabeth Weber-Fülöp [Budapest 1883–U.S.A.?] or portraiture (Enit Kaufmann, Hedwig Friedländer, Margarete Moscheles). Only a few women artists from prosperous families who could afford private lessons had the possibility to study the nude—among them Feodorowna Ries, Twardowski-Conrat, Taussig and Koller-Pinell. Even when resistant patriarchal structures loosened in the early twentieth century, Austria only slowly gave up its conservative stance. The first depictions of the nude by women were sketches, followed by paintings and finally by sculptures. Their emphasis was clearly different from that of their Austrian male counterparts who perceived women as seductive femmes fatales with an irresistible sexual magnetism.

Broncia Koller-Pinell’s nudes are a fine example to demonstrate this difference. From her earliest work, she seemed to search for a viable feminine art. In contrast to the fin-de-siècle’s male fantasy of female lasciviousness, her Seated (1907), for example, displays a young woman whose femininity unfolds itself gently through her posture and the whole line of her body. Both reveal her sensual charm, and yet equally express a mood of unease. In addition, the dialogue of her hands indicates her bashfulness. The Nude (1907) shows a similar narrative focus, for here as well the silent language of body and features conveys an aura of distant shyness and inwardness. Obviously, here we touch on a different level than that of mere lust and sin.

Other Austrian Jewish women artists who were engaged with the feminine image are Pepi Neutra-Weixlgärtner, Anna Mahler, Miriam Rose Silberer, Helene Taussig, Elsa Beck-Schwarz and Marie Louise von Motesiczky (1906–1996).

Few Jewish women dealt with the problems of maternity and marriage as did Broncia Koller-Pinell, who was labeled by an artist friend as “the talented wife of a prominent husband” (1934). In her painting Young Woman in front of Bird Cage (1908) she delivers a subtle personal critique of being trapped in her traditional role as wife, mother, and caretaker. The young woman is shown with her back to the observer. We cannot approach her or enter her world of feelings. There is no emotional expression other than the message conveyed by the choice of objects, which clearly convey her complex and uncertain relationship to motherhood. Among Koller-Pinell’s portraits are three of the leading figures of the Austrian women’s movement: Rosa Mayreder (1858–1938), Therese Schlesinger (1863–1940) and Maria Lang (1885–1934). While Koller-Pinell was never an active political feminist, by being acquainted with Mayreder, Schlesinger and Lang and in visually rendering them, she invites us to a possible insight into her own position.


By the middle of the 12th century, Vienna had become an important centre of German civilization, and the four existing churches, including only one parish church, no longer met the town's religious needs. In 1137, Bishop of Passau Reginmar and Margrave Leopold IV signed the Treaty of Mautern, which referred to Vienna as a civitas for the first time and transferred St. Peter's Church to the Diocese of Passau. Under the treaty, Margrave Leopold IV also received from the bishop extended stretches of land beyond the city walls, with the notable exception of the territory allocated for the new parish church, which would eventually become St. Stephen's Cathedral. Although previously believed built in an open field outside the city walls, the new parish church was in actuality likely built on an ancient cemetery dating to Ancient Roman times excavations for a heating system in 2000 revealed graves 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) below the surface, which were carbon-dated to the 4th century. [ citation needed ] This discovery suggests that an even older religious building on this site predated the St. Rupert's Church, which is considered the oldest church in Vienna.

Founded in 1137 following the Treaty of Mautern, the partially constructed Romanesque church was solemnly dedicated in 1147 to Saint Stephen in the presence of Conrad III of Germany, Bishop Otto of Freising, and other German nobles who were about to embark on the Second Crusade. [2] Although the first structure was completed in 1160, [3] major reconstruction and expansion lasted until 1511, and repair and restoration projects continue to the present day. From 1230 to 1245, the initial Romanesque structure was extended westward the present-day west wall and Romanesque towers date from this period. In 1258, however, a great fire destroyed much of the original building, and a larger replacement structure, also Romanesque in style and reusing the two towers, was constructed over the ruins of the old church and consecrated 23 April 1263. The anniversary of this second consecration is commemorated each year by a rare ringing of the Pummerin bell for three minutes in the evening.

In 1304, King Albert I ordered a Gothic three-nave choir to be constructed east of the church, wide enough to meet the tips of the old transepts. Under his son Duke Albert II, work continued on the Albertine choir, which was consecrated in 1340 on the 77th anniversary of the previous consecration. The middle nave is largely dedicated to St. Stephen and All Saints, while the north and south nave, are dedicated to St. Mary and the Apostles respectively. Duke Rudolf IV, the Founder, Albert II's son, expanded the choir again to increase the religious clout of Vienna. On 7 April 1359, Rudolf IV laid the cornerstone for a westward Gothic extension of the Albertine choir in the vicinity of the present south tower. This expansion would eventually encapsulate the entirety of the old church, and in 1430, the edifice of the old church was removed from within as work progressed on the new cathedral. The south tower was completed in 1433, and vaulting of the nave took place from 1446 to 1474. The foundation for a north tower was laid in 1450, and construction began under master Lorenz Spenning, but its construction was abandoned when major work on the cathedral ceased in 1511.

In 1365, just six years after beginning the Gothic extension of the Albertine choir, Rudolf IV disregarded St. Stephen's status as a mere parish church and presumptuously established a chapter of canons befitting a large cathedral. This move was only the first step in fulfilling Vienna's long-held desire to obtain its own diocese in 1469, Emperor Frederick III prevailed upon Pope Paul II to grant Vienna its own bishop, to be appointed by the emperor. Despite long-standing resistance by the Bishops of Passau, who did not wish to lose control of the area, the Diocese of Vienna was canonically established on 18 January 1469, with St. Stephen's Cathedral as its mother church. In 1722 during the reign of Karl VI, Pope Innocent XIII elevated the see to an archbishopric. [3]

During World War II, the cathedral was saved from intentional destruction at the hands of retreating German forces when Wehrmacht Captain Gerhard Klinkicht disregarded orders from the city commandant, "Sepp" Dietrich, to "fire a hundred shells and reduce it to rubble". [4] On 12 April 1945, civilian looters lit fires in nearby shops as Soviet Army troops entered the city. The winds carried the fire to the cathedral, where it severely damaged the roof, causing it to collapse. Fortunately, protective brick shells built around the pulpit, Frederick III's tomb, and other treasures, minimized damage to the most valuable artworks. However, the Rollinger choir stalls, carved in 1487, could not be saved. Reconstruction began immediately after the war, with a limited reopening 12 December 1948 and a full reopening 23 April 1952.

The church was dedicated to St. Stephen, also the patron of the bishop's cathedral in Passau, and so was oriented toward the sunrise on his feast day of 26 December, as the position stood in the year that construction began. Built of limestone, the cathedral is 107 metres (351 ft) long, 40 metres (130 ft) wide, and 136 metres (446 ft) tall at its highest point. Over the centuries, soot and other forms of air pollution accumulating on the church have given it a black colour, but recent restoration projects have again returned some portions of the building to their original white. [ citation needed ]

Towers Edit

Standing at 136 meters (446 ft) tall and affectionately referred to by the city's inhabitants as "Steffl" (a diminutive form of "Stephen"), St. Stephen's Cathedral's massive south tower is its highest point and a dominant feature of the Vienna skyline. Its construction lasted 65 years, from 1368 to 1433. During the Siege of Vienna in 1529 and again during the Battle of Vienna in 1683, it served as the main observation and command post for the defence of the walled city, and it even contains an apartment for the watchmen who, until 1955, manned the tower at night and rang the bells if a fire was spotted in the city. At the tip of the tower stands the double-eagle imperial emblem with the Habsburg-Lorraine coat of arms on its chest, surmounted by a double-armed apostolic cross, which refers to Apostolic Majesty, the imperial style of kings of Hungary. [ citation needed ] This emblem replaced earlier crescent and the six-pointed star emblem. The original emblem, as well as a couple of later ones, today can be seen at the Vienna City Museum. [5]

The north tower was originally intended to mirror the south tower, but the design proved too ambitious, considering the era of Gothic cathedrals was nearing its end, and construction was halted in 1511. In 1578, the tower-stump was augmented with a Renaissance cap, nicknamed the "water tower top" by the Viennese. The tower now stands at 68 metres (223 ft) tall, roughly half the height of the south tower. [ citation needed ]

The main entrance to the church is named the Giant's Door, or Riesentor, possibly referring to the thighbone of a mammoth that hung over it for decades after being unearthed in 1443 while digging the foundations for the north tower, or else to the funnel shape of the door, from the Middle High German word risen, meaning 'sink or 'fall'. [6] The tympanum above the Giant's Door depicts Christ Pantocrator flanked by two winged angels, while on the left and right are the two Roman Towers, or Heidentürme, that each stand at approximately 65 metres (213 ft) tall. The name for the towers derives from the fact that they were constructed from the rubble of old structures built by the Romans (German Heiden meaning heathens or pagans) during their occupation of the area. Square at the base and octagonal above the roofline, the Heidentürme originally housed bells those in the south tower were lost during World War II, but the north tower remains an operational bell tower. The Roman Towers, together with the Giant's Door, are the oldest parts of the church. [ citation needed ]

Roof Edit

The glory of St. Stephen's Cathedral is its ornately patterned, richly coloured roof, 111 metres (364 ft) long, and covered by 230,000 glazed tiles. Above the choir on the south side of the building the tiles form a mosaic of the double-headed eagle that is symbolic of the empire ruled from Vienna by the Habsburg dynasty. On the north side, the coats of arms of the City of Vienna and of the Republic of Austria are depicted. In 1945, fire caused by World War II damage to nearby buildings leapt to the north tower of the cathedral and destroyed the wooden framework of the roof. Replicating the original bracing for so large a roof (it rises 38 metres above the floor) would have been cost-prohibitive, so over 600 metric tons of steel bracing were used instead. The roof is so steep that it is sufficiently cleaned by the rain alone and is seldom covered by snow. [ citation needed ]

Bells Edit

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven discovered the totality of his deafness when he saw birds flying out of the bell tower as a result of the bells' tolling but could not hear the bells. St. Stephen's Cathedral has 23 bells in total. The largest is officially named for St. Mary, but usually called Pummerin ("Boomer") and hangs in the north tower. At 20,130 kilograms (44,380 lb), it is the largest in Austria and the second-largest swinging bell in Europe after the 23,500 kilograms (51,800 lb) Peter in Cologne Cathedral). Originally cast in 1711 from cannons captured from the Muslim invaders, it was recast (partly from its original metal) in 1951 after crashing onto the floor when its wooden cradle burned during the 1945 fire. The new bell has a diameter of 3.14 metres (10.3 ft) and was a gift from the province of Upper Austria. It sounds on only a few special occasions each year, including the arrival of the new year. Also in this tower are two (formerly three) older bells that are no longer used: Kleine Glocke ("small bell") (62 kilograms (137 lb)) cast around 1280 Speisglocke ("dinner bell") (240 kilograms (530 lb)) cast in 1746 and Zügenglocke ("processions bell") (65 kilograms (143 lb)) cast in 1830. However, the Kleine Glocke was restored at the Grassmayr foundry in Innsbruck in 2017 and rehung in the North Roman Tower. [ citation needed ]

A peal of eleven electrically operated bells, cast in 1960, hangs in the soaring south tower. Replacements for other ancient bells also lost in the 1945 fire, they are used during Masses at the cathedral: four are used for an ordinary Mass the quantity increases to as many as ten for a major holiday Mass and the eleventh and largest is added when the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna himself is present. From the largest to the smallest, they are named the St. Stephen (5,700 kilograms (12,600 lb)) St. Leopold (2,300 kilograms (5,100 lb)) St. Christopher (1,350 kilograms (2,980 lb)) St. Leonhard (950 kilograms (2,090 lb)) St. Josef (700 kilograms (1,500 lb)) St. Peter Canisius (400 kilograms (880 lb)) St. Pius X (280 kg) All Saints (200 kilograms (440 lb)) St. Clement Maria Hofbauer (120 kilograms (260 lb)) St. Michael (60 kilograms (130 lb)) and St. Tarsicius (35 kilograms (77 lb)). Also in this tallest tower are the Primglocke (recast in 1772), which rings on the quarter hour, and the Uhrschälle (cast in 1449), which rings on the hour. [ citation needed ]

The north Roman Tower contains six bells, four of which were cast in 1772, that ring for evening prayers and toll for funerals. They are working bells of the cathedral and their names usually recall their original uses: Feuerin ("fire alarm" but now used as a call to evening prayers) cast in 1879 Kantnerin (calling the cantors (musicians) to Mass) Feringerin (used for High Mass on Sundays) Bieringerin ("beer ringer" for last call at taverns) Poor Souls (the funeral bell) Churpötsch (donated by the local curia in honour of the Maria Pötsch icon in the cathedral), and Kleine Glocke(cast in 1280 and is the oldest bell in the cathedral). [ citation needed ]

The 1945 fire destroyed the bells that hung in the south Roman Tower. [7]

Fixtures on the outside walls Edit

During the Middle Ages, major cities had their own set of measures and the public availability of these standards allowed visiting merchants to comply with local regulations. The official Viennese ell length standards for verifying the measure of different types of cloth sold are embedded in the cathedral wall, to the left of the main entrance. The linen ell, also called Viennese yard, (89.6 centimetres (35.3 in)) and the drapery ell (77.6 centimetres (30.6 in)) length standards consist of two iron bars. According to Franz Twaroch, the ratio between the linen ell and the drapery ell is exactly 3 / 2 >/2> . [8] [9] The Viennese ells are mentioned for the first time in 1685 by the Canon Testarello della Massa in his book Beschreibung der ansehnlichen und berühmten St. Stephans-Domkirchen. [10]

A memorial tablet (near location SJC on the Plan below) gives a detailed account of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's relationship with the cathedral, including the fact that he had been appointed an adjunct music director here shortly before his death. This was his parish church when he lived at the "Figaro House" and he was married here, two of his children were baptised here, and his funeral was held in the Chapel of the Cross (at location PES) inside. [11]

Adjacent to the catacomb entrance is the Capistran Chancel, the pulpit (now outdoors at location SJC) from which St. John Capistrano and Hungarian general John Hunyadi preached a crusade in 1456 to repel Muslim invasions of Christian Europe. (See: Siege of Belgrade). [12] The 18th century Baroque statue shows the Franciscan friar under an extravagant sunburst, trampling on a beaten Turk. This was the original cathedral's main pulpit inside until it was replaced by Niclaes Gerhaert van Leyden's pulpit in 1515. [ citation needed ]

A figure of Christ (at location CT) is known affectionately to the Viennese as "Christ with a toothache" (de:Zahnwehherrgott). At the southwest corner (location S) are various memorials from when the area outside the cathedral was a cemetery, as well as a recently restored 15th-century sundial on a flying buttress. [ citation needed ]

Altars Edit

The main part of the church contains 18 altars, with more in the various chapels. The High Altar (HA) and the Wiener Neustadt Altar (German: Wiener Neustädter Altar) (WNA) are the most famous.

The first focal point of any visitor is the distant High Altar, built over seven years from 1641 to 1647 as part of the first refurbishment of the cathedral in the baroque style. The altar was built by Tobias Pock at the direction of Vienna's Bishop Philipp Friedrich Graf Breuner with marble from Poland, Styria and Tyrol. The High Altar represents the stoning of the church's patron St. Stephen. It is framed by figures of patron saints from the surrounding areas – Saints Leopold, Florian, Sebastian and Rochus – and surmounted with a statue of St. Mary which draws the beholder's eye to a glimpse of heaven where Christ waits for Stephen (the first martyr) to ascend from below.

The Wiener Neustädter Altar at the head of the north nave was ordered in 1447 by Emperor Frederick III, whose tomb is located in the opposite direction. On the predella is his famous A.E.I.O.U. device. Frederick ordered it for the Cistercian Viktring Abbey (near Klagenfurt) where it remained until the abbey was closed in 1786 as part of Emperor Joseph II's anti-clerical reforms. It was then sent to the Cistercian monastery of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (founded by Emperor Frederick III) in the city of Wiener Neustadt, and finally sold in 1885 to St. Stephen's Cathedral when the Wiener Neustadt monastery was closed after merging with Heiligenkreuz Abbey.

The Wiener Neustädter Altar is composed of two triptychs, the upper being four times taller than the lower one. When the lower panels are opened, the Gothic grate of the former reliquary depot above the altar is revealed. On weekdays, the four panels are closed and display a drab painted scene involving 72 saints. On Sundays, the panels are opened showing gilded wooden figures depicting events in the life of the Virgin Mary. Restoration began on its 100th anniversary, in 1985 and took 20 years, 10 art restorers, 40,000 man-hours, and €1.3 million to complete, primarily because its large surface area of 100 square metres (1,100 sq ft).

Máriapócs Icon Edit

The Maria Pötsch Icon (MP) is a Byzantine style icon of St. Mary with the child Jesus. The icon takes its name from the Hungarian Byzantine Catholic shrine of Máriapócs (pronounced Poach), from where it was transferred to Vienna. The picture shows the Virgin Mary pointing to the child (signifying "He is the way") and the child holding a three-stemmed rose (symbolizing the Holy Trinity) and wearing a prescient cross from his neck. The 50 x 70 cm icon was commissioned in 1676 from painter István Papp by László Csigri upon his release as a prisoner of war from the Turks who were invading Hungary at the time. As Csigri was unable to pay the 6-forint fee the icon was bought by Lőrinc Hurta who donated it to the church of Pócs.

After claims of two miraculous incidents in 1696 with the mother in the picture allegedly shedding real tears, Emperor Leopold I ordered it brought to St. Stephen's Cathedral, where it would be safe from the Muslim armies that still controlled much of Hungary. Upon its arrival after a triumphal five-month journey in 1697, Empress Eleonora Magdalena commissioned the splendid Rosa Mystica oklad and framework (now one of several) for it, and the Emperor personally ordered the icon placed near the High Altar in the front of the church, where it stood prominently from 1697 until 1945. Since then, it has been in a different framework, above an altar under a medieval stone baldachin near the southwest corner of the nave – where the many burning candles indicate the extent of its veneration, especially by Hungarians. Since its arrival the picture has not been seen weeping again but other miracles and answered prayers have been attributed to it, including Prince Eugene of Savoy's victory over the Turks at Zenta few weeks after the icon's installation in the Stephansdom.

The residents of Pócs wanted their holy miracle-working painting returned, but the emperor sent them a copy instead. Since then, the copy has been reported to weep real tears and work miracles, so the village changed its name from merely Pócs to Máriapócs and has become an important pilgrimage site.

Pulpit Edit

The stone pulpit is a masterwork of late Gothic sculpture. Long attributed to Anton Pilgram, today Niclaes Gerhaert van Leyden is thought more likely to be the carver. So that the local language sermon could be better heard by the worshipers in the days before microphones and loudspeakers, the pulpit stands against a pillar out in the nave, instead of in the chancel at the front of the church.

The sides of the pulpit erupt like stylized petals from the stem supporting it. On those Gothic petals are relief portraits of the four original Doctors of the Church (St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great and St. Jerome), each of them in one of four different temperaments and in one of four different stages of life. The handrail of the stairway curving its way around the pillar from ground level to the pulpit has fantastic decorations of toads and lizards biting each other, symbolizing the fight of good against evil. At the top of the stairs, a stone puppy protects the preacher from intruders.

Beneath the stairs is one of the most beloved symbols of the cathedral: a stone self-portrait of the unknown sculptor gawking (German: gucken) out of a window (German: fenster) and thus famously known as the Fenstergucker. The chisel in the subject's hand, and the stonemason's signature mark on the shield above the window led to the speculation that it could be a self-portrait of the sculptor.

Chapels Edit

There are several formal chapels in St. Stephen's Cathedral:

    Chapel, in the base of the south tower, is the baptismal chapel. The 14-sided baptismal font was completed in 1481, and its cover was formerly the soundboard above the famed pulpit in the main church. Its marble base shows the four Evangelists, while the niches of the basin feature the twelve apostles, Christ and St. Stephan. Chapel, in the base of the north tower, is used for meditation and prayer. Chapel, in the southeast corner, is open for prayer. The altar is dedicated to St. Valentine whose body (one of three, held by various churches) is in another chapel, upstairs. Chapel, above St. Eligius' Chapel, has recently been restored.
  • The Chapel of the Cross (PES), in the northeast corner, holds the burial place of Prince Eugene of Savoy in the vault containing 3 coffins and a heart urn, under a massive stone slab with iron rings. The funeral of Mozart occurred here on 6 December 1791. The beard on the crucified Christ above the altar is of real hair. The chapel is not open to the public. Chapel, above the Chapel of the Cross, is the current depository of the hundreds of relics belonging to the Stephansdom, including a piece of the tablecloth from the Last Supper. A large chest holds the bones of St. Valentine that were moved here about a century ago, from what is now the Chapter House to the south of the High Altar.

Tombs, catacombs, and crypts Edit

Since its earliest days, the cathedral has been surrounded by cemeteries dating back to Roman times, and has sheltered the bodies of notables and commoners. It has always been an honour to be buried inside a church, close to the physical presence of the saints whose relics are preserved there. Those less honoured were buried near, but outside, the church.

Inside the cathedral are the tombs of Prince Eugene of Savoy (PES), commander of the Imperial forces during the War of the Spanish Succession in the Chapel of The Cross (northwest corner of the cathedral) and of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (Fr3), under whose reign the Diocese of Vienna was canonically erected on 18 January 1469, in the Apostles' Choir (southeast corner of the cathedral).

The construction of Emperor Frederick's tomb spanned over 45 years, starting 25 years before his death. The impressive sarcophagus is made of the unusually dense red marble-like stone found at the Adnet quarry. Carved by Niclaes Gerhaert van Leyden, the tomb lid shows Emperor Frederick in his coronation regalia surrounded by the coats of arms of all of his dominions. The body of the tomb has 240 statues and is a glory of medieval sculptural art.

When the charnel house and eight cemeteries abutting the cathedral's side and back walls closed due to an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1735, the bones within them were moved to the catacombs below the church. Burials directly in the catacombs occurred until 1783 when a new law forbade most burials within the city. The remains of over 11,000 persons are in the catacombs (which may be toured).

The basement of the cathedral also hosts the Bishops, Provosts and Ducal crypts. The most recent interment in the Bishop's crypt completed in 1952 under the south choir was that of 98-year-old Cardinal Franz König in 2004. Provosts of the cathedral are buried in another chamber. Other members of the cathedral chapter are now buried in a special section at the Zentralfriedhof.

The Ducal Crypt located under the chancel holds 78 bronze containers with the bodies, hearts, or viscera of 72 members of the Habsburg dynasty. Before his death in 1365, Duke Rudolf IV ordered the crypt built for his remains in the new cathedral he commissioned. By 1754, the small rectangular chamber was overcrowded with 12 sarcophagi and 39 urns, so the area was expanded with an oval chamber added to the east end of the rectangular one. In 1956, the two chambers were renovated and their contents rearranged. The sarcophagi of Duke Rudolf IV and his wife were placed upon a pedestal and the 62 urns containing organs were moved from the two rows of shelves around the new chamber to cabinets in the original one.

Organs Edit

St Stephen's Cathedral has an old organ tradition. The first organ is mentioned in 1334. [13] [14] After the 1945 fire, Michael Kauffmann finished a large electric action pipe organ in 1960 with 125 voices and 4 manuals, financed with public donations. [15] In 1991, the Austrian firm of Rieger rebuilt the choir organ. It is a mechanical organ, with 56 voices and 4 manuals. [16]


Mostly Roman Catholic, Austrians brought their religion with them to America. Austrian missionaries, mainly Jesuits, baptized Native Americans and helped chart the New World from the seventeenth century on. But by the nineteenth century that mission had changed, for newly arrived Austrian immigrants, disdained by Irish Catholic priests who spoke no German, were clamoring for Austrian priests. Partly to meet this need and partly to convert new souls to Catholicism, the Leopoldine Stiftung or Foundation was established in 1829. Collecting weekly donations throughout the Habsburg Empire, the foundation sent money and priests into North America to bring faith to the frontier. Through such contributions over 400 churches were built on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in what was then known as Indian country further west. The Jesuits were especially active during this period in cities such as Cincinnati and St. Louis. The Benedictines and Franciscans were also represented by both priests and nuns. These priests founded bishoprics and built congregations in the thousands. One unfortunate reaction to this was an intensification of nativist tendencies, or anti-immigrant sentiments. This influx of priests was looked upon as a conspiracy to upset the balance of the population in America with Roman Catholics imported from Europe. For many years such nativist sentiments made it difficult for Austrian immigrants to fully assimilate into American society.

On the whole, the formal traditions and rights of the Church in the United States and in Austria were the same, but external pressures differed. Thus, as with the U.S. population in general, Austrian Americans in the twentieth century have become more secular, less faith-bound. New waves of Austrian immigrants, especially those fleeing Nazism, also changed the religious makeup of the groups as a whole. For the most part, arrivals between 1933 and 1945 were Jewish.

Oops. I wrote too soon. You see. One has to check. From the wonderful Bayern Lexikon, which Andreas will also know.

Die Verbotszeit der SA 1923-1925: Röhm und der Frontbann

Ernst Röhm, der von Hitler mit der der militärischen Leitung des verbotenen Kampfbunds und der inzwischen verbotenen SA beauftragt worden war, setzte sich nach seiner Haftentlassung (1. April 1924) bei einer am 17. und 18. Mai 1924 in Salzburg abgehaltenen Tagung als SA-Führer anstelle Görings durch.

Röhm entwickelte Richtlinien für eine Reorganisierung der SA. Schon 1924 waren außerhalb Bayerns unter Decknamen oder als Teil anderer Verbände erste SA-Gruppen im Ruhrgebiet und Westfalen und auch einige in Nord-, Ost- und Mitteldeutschland entstanden, wobei jedoch die Mitgliederfluktuation innerhalb des Spektrums der Wehrverbände sehr stark war.

Zusätzlich entwarf Röhm Pläne für eine reichsweite, von der Partei unabhängige Wehrbewegung namens "Frontbann". Die immer noch verbotene SA sollte den Kern der Bewegung bilden, die aber auch anderen Wehrverbänden offen stand. Obwohl Hitler diesen Plan ablehnte, da er befürchtete, solche Aktivitäten könnten seine Freilassung gefährden und die SA könne ihm entzogen werden, gelang Röhm im August 1924 die Gründung des "Frontbann". Dieser zählte bald etwa 30.000 Anhänger. "

The scholarly history of the SA is that of Longerich, who later has become Himmler's biographer.

Only one town in Germany

We will be spending 7 nights in Paris in late September. Would like to spend four nights following Paris in a single town (or area) in Germany and fly home to the US fro that German town or area. What do you suggest and Why? Thanks Todd

Which city in Germany do you want to see the most? Which one has the history that attracts you, or the museums, or other sites that get you excited? This is a rather personal opinion, and everyone is going to tell you something different, and at the end, you will still need to decide on your own. You are paying 1000's of dollars to come to Europe, so pick out the city that YOU want, cause if I tell you to come to Frankfurt, as it is a perfect hub as well as being a wonderfully historic city, I will get bashed. Someone else will say Munich is the best, then will come Berlin, someone else will say Rothenburg, or perhaps Heidelberg, etc. etc.

I just got back from two weeks in Germany and I'd suggest Berlin. Although I didn't really love the city itself (and have no big desire to return in the way I want to go back to Paris), Berlin's unbelievable 20th century history alone makes it an essential visit at some point on any itinerary. It was certainly the highlight of my trip, though I'm a history buff.

If you have those constraints, I would heartily recommend Berlin, all things being equal, ie basically, just one city in Germany. Berlin, die dufte Stadt, for numerous reasons. You can fly direct back, such as Berlin Tegel to Los Angeles (LAX) or change in Frankfurt or London.

As someone else mentioned, which city to choose will depend a lot on what you want to see and do while there. Could you elaborate on what prompted your desire to visit Germany?

My favourite city to visit is Munich, for a variety of reasons. I like the character of the city, and there's not only lots to see in the city but also lots of good day trip possibilities. While that may also be true with other cities, there's just something about Munich that I like.

Good luck with your decision!

Stay on the Rhine and fly back from Frankfurt

Last summer I had time for only one city in Germany and I chose Berlin. Loved the museums, the last century of history is very important, and I took one daytrip to Lutherstadt-Wittenberg. Next year I'll be able to spend more time in
Germany, and I will definitely return to Berlin.

I'm the someone else who will say Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

The deciding factor for me would be cost - which city is cheapest for you to fly out of? Once you know that you can settle on exactly where you want to visit/day trips, etc.

I'm with Ken. Munich is my favorite city in Germany. Day trips can be made to several places of interest and the city itself has a lot to offer. Hitler called it the spiritual heart of the third reich, so if that history interests you, there are many of the historical buildings and places to see. I've been twice and will go again.

Berlin would be my pick if you have to pick just one.

Munich is just kind of a meh for me. (1st time I have ever used that word) Nice enough city, but that's it.

Really it depends on your interests. If it was me and it had to be a city that I could fly out of, I would pick Munich. I have been to Munich a couple of times and would go back. There is a lot to see and do, and there are a lot of day trips you can take from there (Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, the castles..) I find Munich very easy to get around. it is a larger city that doesn't feel like a big city to me. My other choice would be to stay in Cochem and explore the Mosel valley area, but it is farther to get to an airport for the flight home from there.

Modern Germany and 20th century history: Berlin

Old Germany and cliches: Munich and/or Middle Rhine

Touristy Fairy Tale Germany: Romantic Road + Franconia (Frankfurt)

Untouristy Fairy Tale Germany: Harz mountains (Berlin)

Unknown Modern Germany: Hamburg

Unknown Fairy Tale Germany: Baltic Coast (Berlin)

For me it's Berlin, hands down. But as you can see, everyone has a different take.

So, try this: If someone said they had 4 days to spend in one American city, which one would you choose and why? If you can articulate an answer that works for you (not someone else's reasons, but yours), then you can apply this reasoning to Germany. If, on the other hand, you can't pick one so easily, you'll see the problem. In that case, I agree with picking the one that has the best/cheapest/easiest return to the US (you have to start somewhere, and while I feel logistics and money should never be the only reason to see a place, they are good tie-breakers).

Much as I like going to Munich and Frankfurt too, at least connecting at their Hbf., both cities are culturally provincial. Berlin is the one big metroplis in Germany. In that sense, it's apt to say Berlin is über alles. It's interesting to see how much of the tourist/visitor industry in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt is done by Americans compared to other nationalities visiting, ie. what's the percentage of Americans visiting Berlin when contrasted with other nationalities? Or, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne for that matter?

Todd, you also didn't say how you plan to get from Paris to the town (?? did you mean "rural"?) in Germany. Although I also think Berlin is the overwhelmingly obvious choice, Cologne is slightly more accessible by rail from Paris. And I got a "free" add-on from United ex-USA going to Cologne on Lufthansa. Four days is not very long, but any of the big cities in Germany is good for four days. Frankfurt is maybe the least worthwhile among those with big air travel hubs. But it wouldn't be a "mistake".

Of course, flying from Paris to Berlin can be easy and cheap as well. At the end of a trip last week, I flew from Berlin to Paris for $69 one-way on Air France - surely not more expensive than a train ticket to Cologne. If you don't mind flying to/from Orly in Paris, you have even more options on the budget airlines.

Berlin would be my choice, hands down. I visited both sides of Berlin when the wall was still up, and have visited several times since. As years have passed I've settled into spending my vacation every year in Berlin, about 5 years now, and I've barely scratched the surface. The amazing thing about Berlin is that is got something for everyone—more art than you could see in a lifetime, history everywhere you turn, great shopping, fabulous food from all over the world, lots of parks and green space, interesting foreign neighborhoods.

I've had great experiences renting apartments in Berlin. If you want more info, just post and I'll get in touch with you.

I have to vote for Munich/Bavaria for all the reasons given above (lots to see and do, great side trips, nice architecture/churches, good vibe albeit touristy at times). It's beautiful and the side trips throughout Bavaria really give one a feel for the cultural center.

For a good all around feel of Germany I would go with Munich. It has many different things to see and do and short day trips if you want to check out Germany's highest peak, only 1 hour away or visit a concentration camp, about 1/2 hour out of town. Also its a short trip into Austria if you felt like it.

‘Heil the Hero Klimt!’: Nazi Aesthetics in Vienna and the 1943 Gustav Klimt Retrospective

Laura Morowitz, ‘Heil the Hero Klimt!’: Nazi Aesthetics in Vienna and the 1943 Gustav Klimt Retrospective, Oxford Art Journal, Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2016, Pages 107–129, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/kcv032

In the winter of 1943 the city of Vienna was no longer the capital of Austria, but one of the Gaue , or districts, of Ostmark, the easternmost regions of the Third Reich. The city was firmly under the rule of Baldur von Schirach, the former head of the Hitler Youth, the highest ranking Nazi in Vienna, and a man known as the ‘poet laureate’ of the Nazi party. The gold-domed Secession building, one of the most well-known icons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, had been renamed the Friedrichstrasse Gallery. Inside the building, at the instigation of von Schirach, the largest retrospective of Gustav Klimt’s work ever assembled was on display ( Figs. 1 and 2 ).

This exhibition, virtually neglected in the copious literature on the artist, raises a number of compelling questions. 1 How did Klimt – arguably.

What makes Austrians different from Germans and vise versa

I’ve been to both Austria and Germany and as a foreigner I was quite surprised of similarities of the countries and their people. The same language, beer-gardens, a lot of bikes, plenty of dogs, mountains. But I guess all of these is just a surface. I believe there are a lot of differences in people themselves which are not noticeable, especially for foreigners.

Question: What are the differences between Germans and Austrians? Mental differences? Cultural differences? May be different lifestyle? Different political views?

When I asked my German friends they couldn’t come with an immediate answer. They said that languages are of course different. At the same time the language spoken in Berlin is as different from Bavarian dialect as it is different from Austrian dialect. Austrians have payed roads which is something Germans don’t have. And that Hitler comes from Austria (it was a joke, they laughed, no political context). And that was all they could tell me.

First the language, Standard High German has 3 different standard forms, Austrian/German/Swiss High German
All 3 differ in vocabulary, pronouncing and spelling (minor differences after the last reform)

The main difference were everything else evolves from is mentality
Austrians take their time, take things more relaxed, and nothing too serious.

While in Germany a rule is a rule, in Austria it is more a recommendation
If the rest of the world say: the situation is serious but not hopeless
Austria would say: a situation may be hopeless, but never serious (a form of gallows/black humor, also called Wiener Schmäh)
We also have a more sarcastic based communication.

A comedian described the main difference in 2 words, eh (anyway/anyhow/regardless) and immerhin (after all)

In Germany, something works, or works not, but in Austria there can be something in between, as it"geht eh" (it works anyhow) which means we don't know why it works, or how long it will work and we also don't want to know because "immerhin gehts" (after all it is working)

Actor Christoph Walz put it nicely: "Germans can be rude but they don't mean it. Austrians are really nice most of the time but they don't mean it either."

Also: Germany is a like a battleship, while Austria is like a Waltz.

But in general, the South of Germany is more similar to Austria and the further north you go more and more differences come up. Northern Germany still speaks a similar language but it feels very foreign.

Viennese girl here, with german boyfriend and currently living in Germany.

One of the main differences of course is language. The other main difference is(at least for me) that Austrians seem to be more easy going, while Germans seem to be workaholics(stereotype I know, but as far as it goes, it proves to be true to me). Another thing is the humor. Austrians, or at least viennese people, tend to have a special kind of humor that not everyone might understand.

Another thing that comes to my mind is that Germans are way nicer to customers/strangers than Austrians in general.

Thank you. From my experience (worked with Germans for a few years) I’d say they are not workaholics at all. I’d say they value their free time more then any other nation I’ve been working with. For instance, any employee can easily take a vacation before a deadline or just take a month-long vacation.

But I didn’t work with Austrians, may be they enjoy life even more.

Not even gonna touch that

I really can't imagine other countries to not also have restaurants where you can't sit outside. Aside from that, beer gardens are something southern.

Don't know where you've been, but there are barely any cyclists here in comparison to the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

Only in the very southernmost regions of Germany.

It seems like you're comparing southern Germany/bavaria to Austria. There are obviously similarities due to proximity and history, but equating that to all of Austria is a little far-fetched.

In the end it always depends about which parts of which countries you're comparing with eachother. Schleswig-Holstein won't resemble Styria, for example, at all. Yet Salzburg and Oberbayern are going to be similar.

Your question is rather unanswerable because neither germany nor Austria is one homogenous, monolithic cultural block. Hell even the West of Austria feels different to the East

Don't know where you've been, but there are barely any cyclists here in comparison to the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

Yes compared to NL and DK there're less bikes but if you look at the modal split we are pretty much on par with Germany.

It is more then restaurants where you can't sit outside. These usually are huge places in parks, overcrowded places, with special atmosphere - other counties don’t have anything even close (may be a few). There are also rules, like you can bring your food there, etc.

May be you can’t compete with Netherlands. But say in the US I have never seen a single bike.

The only fact that there is a two or three level bike parking in the Central Train Station in Salzburg says a lot.

Probably the same as with bikes. I see that both Austrians and Germans love dogs. There are many of them. They bring them wherever they go, mountains, offices, trains.

Of course you might say that there is a country where they love dogs even more, but it is not like they in the rest of the world.

My spouse is half Austrian. We have visited both countries. In general, Austrians are the wild cousins of the Germans. Where as Germans are strict and very quiet around foreigners, Austrians are more relaxed. If a German shop says it closes at 5 pm, at 4:45 all customers should be gone. In Austria, a 5 pm clise means customers out by 4:55

Thank you. Any other differences?

Austrians are more patriotic and a bit more conservative (in a political context).

Quality of food is much more important. Even the cheapest discounters have to offer high quality food from Austria, otherwise nobody buys. Maybe that's one of the reasons why food is more expensive here.

Almost all Austrians are against nuclear power. It's even illegal in Austria. All political parties are unanimous against nuclear power. In Germany, many have a pragmatic attitude towards nuclear power plants.

Austria spends much more money on public transport - and Austrians love to use it. We are in 1st place in the EU.

Plenty of mountains in Germany? TIL.

Hehe, it depends on what you compare. In the place I come from there are no mountains at all. For me what they have in Germany is quite a lot.

We Austrians are said to be lazier. And we are proud of it

I don’t know where you’re from but the attitude towards life and the sense of humour is more similar to me in Austria/Bavaria (as a Brit) than in North Germany.

Austria and Germany are separated by their common history.

If you ask a Chinese and a Taiwanese what the difference is between the two of them, you are bound to get very different answers. Or Russians and somebody from Ukraine. Basically it's not atypical for the "big one" to pretend there is no difference while from the point of view of the small one there most certainly is.

Or ask Czechia and Slovakia why they split up again when there is no cultural or language difference between them. => my theory it likely is because of different history leads to different historical structures that just remain.

Our nazis don't march in the streets, they sit in politicial positions, heilheil! :p

The German "democrat" party split into communists and social democrats way back when before ww2 when the social democrats were in power, the communists tried an insurrection and were beat down be the social democrats. This split exists till today, amplified by the time Germany was split into two halves after ww2.

Because of this split, the two parts of Germany received very different propaganda, while Austria was indepenent and neutral after WW2 and went its own path.

IMO the mental split between Germany and Austria makes a ton of sense, partly even due to geography. Historically Europe for example was very much dominated by the Romans which sit on the southern border of Austria, so when they invaded northwards, they were much likely to take regions now in Austria than regions in nothern Germany simply on account of them being way,way, way further away. Similarly Austria was beyond unlikely to get a ton of Skandinavian/viking influence. Germany borders with France and has a ton of war history there, while Austrias history with France does exist but was often a lot more indirect because more distance.

To the right/east of Austria there are some huge fertile plains areas for example in Hungary, so it always made sense that the Austrians tried to push into these regions, that they had interests there, while to the other German countries those regions weren't nearly as interesting.

Similalry, Austria under the Habsburgs was very very very papal oriented while the north German states rebelled against papal influence.

At the same time the language spoken in Berlin is as different from Bavarian dialect as it is different from Austrian dialect.

It's because "Germany" historically used to be lots of different small countries and little powers. Go and ask a Bavarian about "Prussia/Preußen" who used to be a big power within the German states, coming from the far north. When those little states decided to join up, Austria didn't, imo because it had too many interests and areas in non-German areas, which in turn made it too big to join.

Think of it like this, there were a variety of German tribes, the Bavarian tribe was the one most south, they crossed the alps, and on the other side there, mixed it up with the neighbouring countries there (ie Italy, Slowenia, Hungary, Czechia), thus creating a new culture. While the dominant neighbours to mix with for Germany were more like Poland, France etc. There's similarly regions on the border to France and Germany which were traded back and forth and which have a lot of historical similarity, same with Germany and Holland.

Watch the video: Restaurant Sternbräu - Salzburg