© Hedwig Zdrazil

Gay City Tour 1

From Karlsplatz our tour leads us passed the Technical University to Kettenbrückengasse 6, the death place of composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828). He died on November 19, 1828, of Syphilis, which was supposedly caused by the only sexual experience Schubert ever had with a woman.

Apart from this one mishap, “Franzl” concentrated his desires on male partners. For more than two years he shared his studio and his bed with the well-known homosexual librettist Johann Baptist Mayerhofer. Their feelings for each other are reflected in several of Mayerhofer’s librettos for Schubert’s compositions, and in their joint opera project “Adrast”, which was never realized.

Now it is time to grab a bite to eat at the Naschmarkt from one of the many food stands offering anything from oriental to local delicacies before we pass the musical stage of Theater an der Wien. It was transformed into an opera house in 2006 – when Vienna celebrated Mozart’s 250th anniversary. We end our walk at the most famous Art Nouveau building in town, the Secession.

Downstairs, the famous Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt, one of the Secession’s co-founders, is always a cultural highlight. The exhibition program of the Secession is decided on by the Association of Visual Artists, in a democratic process merely based on artistic criteria. Just like when it was founded the Association is dedicated to presenting contemporary art and certainly does not shy away from artistic experiments.

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