3 hours, walking
My Jewish Vienna Tour is suitable for travelers interested in the Jewish history and the contemporary Jewish life in Vienna. You will learn about the very first Jewish community in the Medieval Ages at Judenplatz, where a Holocaust Memorial stands there since year 2000. Our walk will continue to Morzinplatz and the Jewish textile Quarter connected with the Nazi period. We will explore the neighborhood between Karmelitermarkt and Praterstrasse in Leopoldstadt, the center of Jewish life in Vienna since centuries. Our tour will end at the Prater, our biggest recreational area and amusement park with the Giant Ferris Wheel since 1897, another symbol of Vienna.
Since the end of the 12th century Jews have lived in Vienna. The Medieval Jewish settlement was in the area of the present Judenplatz, where cultural and religious life flourished. Underground are the remains of the medieval synagogue. A small Jewish Museum gives a possibility to understand Jewish history in the period until the Vienna Gesera of 1420/21.
In the beginning of the 15th century Jews began settling again in the Vienna area, but around 1670 were expelled again. After the second Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683 financiers like Samuel Oppenheimer were invited at the Habsburg court. They were of great importance for the banking business, had privileges and were called “Court factors”. More rights were given to the common Jewish population 1782 by Joseph II (Edict of Tolerance).
Only during the rule of Emperor Franz Joseph (1848-1916) Jews had rights equal to those of all citizens of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy.
When Austria became a republic in 1918, Vienna was one of the most prominent centres of Jewish culture in Europe until the National-Socialist rule in Austria.
Mainly the Jewish community produced physicians (Sigmund Freud), scientists (Karl Landsteiner), lawyers, writers (Stefan Zweig) and journalists. It supported artists like Gustav Klimt and contributed very much for the cultural life in the Austrian capital. My Vienna 1900 tour will give you an insight into the life in Vienna of that period.