The fashionable Spittelberg district
‘Hello dearie, what are you doing here?’ With these words a 19th-century practitioner of the oldest profession in the world is said to have once greeted an official from the nearby imperial patent office in Spittelberg, at the time a notorious red-light district and today one of the most fashionable areas in Vienna.
Art and dining
The transformation into a fashionable district started in the 1980s when the city began, at the insistence of the local inhabitants, to renovate the picturesque houses from early 19th-century Biedermeier period that had become run down as a result of the war and the ensuing neglect. This considerably enhanced the charm of Spittelberg with its narrow cobblestoned streets, cinema, theatre, galleries and restaurants, such as ‘Zu ebener Erde und erster Stock’. On the first weekend in the month there is also a handicrafts market. The restaurant ‘Gasthaus zur Witwe Bolte’ even has an old inscription above its door – ‘Through this archway Emperor Joseph once came flying’ – that recalls the time when Spittelberg was still a notorious red-light district and the emperor allegedly refused to pay one of the ladies of leisure for her services.
The Theater am Spittelberg has become well established as a venue for all kinds of performances including a cappella groups and legendary singers of traditional Viennese songs.
INFO: Programme at: http://www.theateramspittelberg.at/
Lena Hoschek’s shop is a veritable attraction for fashion lovers. The internationally renowned designer has also furnished a suite in Hotel Altstadt Vienna.
INFO: http://shop.lenahoschek.com/ and http://www.altstadt.at/