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Vienna´s weekly European journal


Archived article from: 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Series: “23 times Vienna”


1: Floridsdorf from above

The 21st district in the north of Vienna is highly diverse – with vineyards, industry, leisure facilities, green space and residential areas.

The Viennese refer to Floridsdorf and Donaustadt, the municipal districts north of the Danube, as “Transdanubia”. Crossing the Danube used to be no easy matter, and the first bridge was not built until around 1500. Today the 21st district is easy to reach by car, underground, suburban railway and tram. It is thus appropriate that the railway era in Austria started in Floridsdorf with the opening of the Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nordbahn between Floridsdorf and Deutsch-Wagram in November 1837.

2: SCN
3: Escalator in Shopping Center
Shopping Center Nord is one of the biggest shopping malls in Austria

In the centre of the monarchy
Coach travellers from Prague, Brno and Bratislava met at the fork in the imperial road system, which linked the centres of the Danube monarchy. “Floridusdorf” was founded east of this fork. It was named after Floridus Leeb, probate of Klosterneuburg monastery, who in 1786 handed over real estate belonging to the monastery to settlers and their families. The road to Hof Castle became the main thoroughfare in the originally agricultural and later industrial Marchfeld community. The former industrial centre of the monarchy has now become an urban residential district of Vienna. Today the district, which has 140,000 inhabitants, is notable for its mixture of residential and industrial properties surrounded by greenery and water.

4: Donaufeld parish church
5: Mosque
The Donaufeld parish church dominates the skyline of the neighbourhood (left); opened in 1979, the mosque at the Islamic Centre near Neue Donau on the U6 line is the oldest one in Austria and features an impressive 32m minaret

The cathedral of the north
The urban centre around Floridsdorfer Spitz and the Schlingermarkt is a busy shopping area. There is also plenty to buy at Shopping Centre North, while the Gloria Theatre offers distractions of a different kind. Donaufeld parish church is an impressive sight, originally planned when work commenced in 1905 as the cathedral of a new Lower Austrian diocese. This never came about because Floridsdorf was incorporated the same year into the city of Vienna.
Monumental structures in Red Vienna
There is still plenty of construction going on in the twentyfirst century. Krankenhaus Nord hospital is one of the largest high-rise projects in Austria, and the building progress can be followed in the information centre, where there is also a fully equipped hospital room. Feedback forms are available for inhabitants to make suggestions of their own as to the design of the hospital. A building project of this magnitude is reminiscent of the inter-war Red Vienna, during which many public housing projects such as the Schlingerhof, the garden estate later known as Karl-Seitz-Hof or the Paul-Speiser Hof, were undertaken.

6: Visualisation Krankenhaus Nord
A visualisation of Krankenhaus Nord that is scheduled to go into operation in 2015/16

Transdanubian university life
With the Business Studies Centre of the University of Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine, there are plenty of students in the 21st district. Siemens City is another lively research and work campus, and the new headquarters of Siemens Austria offers employment to 6,000 people. A further opportunity for an exchange of information between academics and practical users was provided when a second campus of UAS Technikum Wien was opened in 2008 at the ENERGYbase passive office building.

7: Park in Floridsdorf
8: Goats at Bisamberg
9: Tavern lane Stammersdorf
Floridsdorf has a lot to offer for nature lovers, from the Wasserpark to Bisamberg hill to Stammersdorf

Greenery and bathing
Stammersdorf, at the northern edge of Vienna, is a popular excursion destination for the city’s inhabitants. Nature lovers can take a walk up the Bisamberg with their families or stop off at one of the numerous wine taverns. And if that is not enough, parts of the Donauinsel – Vienna’s largest leisure park – and favourite bathing spots on the New and Old Danube are amongst the district’s treasures. Water lovers can also swim all year round in Floridsdorfer Bad. The Wasserpark (water park), completed in 1929, is ideal for romantic strolls and adventurous journeys of discovery.
Romance on the Old Danube
The Old Danube also has plenty to offer in the way of food. Authentic French cuisine can be enjoyed at La Crêperie, while solid Austrian fare is served at the beach restaurant Birner. In the Seepferdchen and Neuer it is not only possible to dine next to the water but also to venture onto it in a pedalo.

10: Rowing boats at Alte Donau
11: Pedal boat at Alte Donau
The Crêperie on the Old Danube is a great place to eat – and there are plenty of pedalos around to burn off the calories afterwards…