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:
Looking up at the corner platforms, colloquially known as Schwalbennester [swallows' nests]:
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:
A view down from the 11th and uppermost floor, illustrating the height of the building and its location in a residential area:
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):
*) For example the German and English Wikipedia articles or the website of the Haus des Meeres: