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A Flak Tower in Vienna

Article about: I just returned home from a nice Easter weekend spent in Vienna, which included a visit to the local aquarium, the Haus des Meeres [House of the Sea]. Normally, this would hardly be of inter

  1. #1

    Default A Flak Tower in Vienna

    I just returned home from a nice Easter weekend spent in Vienna, which included a visit to the local aquarium, the Haus des Meeres [House of the Sea]. Normally, this would hardly be of interest here, were it not for its unusual location: A Flak tower!

    Between 1942 and 1945, six massive Flak towers were erected in Vienna, grouped in three pairs each consisting of a Leitturm [fire control tower] and a Gefechtsturm [gun tower]. Together, they formed a triangle around the inner city, with the Stephansdom [St. Stephen's Cathedral] roughly in the center of the triangle.

    The southwestern corner of the triangle consisted of the two towers designated as Paar V [Pair V], the Leitturm at the Eszterhazy Park being the one of interest here.



    Forgive me if I will just present a few photographs with brief captions and not go into much detail here on the technical and historical aspects of these buildings. Further information can be readily found from various sources online.*


    Two views of the building from different sides. Since 1991, the facade is adorned with the bilingual motto "Zerschmettert in Stücke (im Frieden der Nacht)" / "Smashed to pieces (in the still of the night)" as an art project by the U.S. artist Lawrence Weiner:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looking up at the corner platforms, colloquially known as Schwalbennester [swallows' nests]:

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    Three photographs taken on the platform on the 9th floor. Note the ends of the rebar protruding from the concrete. This is not due to sloppy construction, but intentional. It was planned to cover the flak towers in black marble after the war and these would have been used to affix the mounting brackets:

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    A view down from the 11th and uppermost floor, illustrating the height of the building and its location in a residential area:

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    Also taken from the 11th floor, a view over the roofs of the city at the Gefechtsturm located within the grounds of the Stiftskaserne army barracks. That tower is still an active military installation (although not used for Flak purposes anymore, obviously):

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    *) For example the German and English Wikipedia articles or the website of the Haus des Meeres:

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiener_Flakt%C3%BCrme
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower
    https://www.haus-des-meeres.at/en/Flakturm/Flakturm.htm

  2. #2

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    Great photos and thanks for sharing, i'll try to visit Vienna one day. I've poked my nose around the Humboldthain flak tower but not yet done an internal tour with Berliner Unterwelten!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  3. #3

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    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    Great photos and thanks for sharing, i'll try to visit Vienna one day. I've poked my nose around the Humboldthain flak tower but not yet done an internal tour with Berliner Unterwelten!...
    You'll love it; it's a great city. When you go there, don't miss the Austrian Army Museum [Heeresgeschichtliches Museum]. When I first went there in 2014, its WWI wing was closed for renovation (in the year of the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, no less!), but it has since been re-opened so now I finally caught up with what I had missed back then.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Andreas they must be the best preserved FLAKTurm that can still be visited , worth the visit to Wien alone !
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  5. #5

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    HPL2008, looks great the tower. I saw this on a Austrian website and I think it is right:
    DANKE, du waaßt goa ned, wos du mir für a Freud' machst....
    Servus, Willy!
    "Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
    zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916

  6. #6

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    Interesting photos! Thanks for sharing!

  7. #7

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    Here is the Stiftkaserne tower in more detail. It remains in the hands of the Austrian army.Click image for larger version. 

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    I can recall as a kid at the first dawn in Vienna in the summer of 1973 looking out at the Haus des Meeres tower in shock and awe.

    I was in the Pfeilgasse, which is not so terribly far away and so forth. I have returned to this locale dozens and dozens of times over the years.

    The other pairs of towers are in the III. Gemeinde Berzirk and in the Augarten district, as well, in the Leopoldstadt.
    damit, basta.

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