Belvedere
© WienTourismus / Hertha Hurnaus

Gay City Tour 1

We start our first gay city walk through Vienna in the Park of Belvedere Palace, the summer residence of one of the first and most important gays in Austrian history: Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736).

The short grown and, to be honest, not very attractive Prince came to Vienna at age 20 to contribute to the rescue of the city which was, at the time, besieged by the Ottoman army and found himself in a victorious position in the decisive battle against the Turks (1683). Before that, the French King Louis XIV had refused him to join his troops, and so the short Savoyan resorted to shocking the court of Versailles by putting on women’s clothes together with his friend, the Duke of Turenne.

After a much more warm-hearted welcome at the Imperial Court in Vienna, the art-loving Prince served under three emperors — Leopold I, Joseph I und Karl VI — and won triumphantly in battles against the Turks, who ruled all over Southeastern Europe. One of his major victories was the liberation of Belgrade from Turkish rule. The architecture of Belvedere Palace, by the way, refers to these victories by imitating the form of Turkish army tents in the green roofs of the building.

From the garden of the Belvedere with its impressive view of downtown Vienna we walk via Schwarzenbergplatz and the Russian War Memorial to Karlsplatz where the biggest Baroque church in Vienna (Karlskirche) makes reference to the next gay historical figure: Emperor Karl VI (1685–1740) himself.

He is not only the founder of this church, which is dedicated to St. Charles Borrome, but also the father of the famous Austrian monarch Maria Theresia and he was rumored to have an intimate relationship with Count Michael Johann III Althan, who was one of the very few persons accepted in the intimate circles of the egocentric and reserved Emperor. When Althan died in 1722, the mourning monarch wrote that his pal had loved him very tenderly in true friendship for 19 years.

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.

Belvedere

Prinz-Eugen-Straße 27 , 1030 Wien
  • Prices

    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: 14% off , 2,50/1,50/2€ off , Special offer
  • Opening times

    • Upper Belvedere daily, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Lower Belvedere & Orangerie daily, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Upper Belvedere Fr, 09:00 - 21:00
    • Lower Belvedere & Orangerie Fr, 10:00 - 21:00
  • Accessibility

    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        Parking space for visitors with disabilities in front of the entrance at Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, Parking: 10 am – 6 pm
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Reduced admission for persons with disabilities and their escorts. Tours in Austrian sign language, "seeing differently" (tactile tours) for the blind and visually impaired in groups are possible in the Upper and Lower Belvedere. The following topics can be booked at all times:
      • A palace to touch – the new touching model of the Upper Belvedere
      • Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and his time
      • Gustav Klimt’s main work “The Kiss”

    • Comments

      People with visual impairments can be collected from the nearest tram station. Please provide information on this when making arrangement. Trained seeing-eye dogs (with ID) may be taken into all areas of the collection. A wheelchair is available at the cloakroom for visitors who have difficulty walking. Some seating is also available in the exhibition rooms or will be provided during the tours.

add to my travel plan

Schwarzenbergplatz

Schwarzenbergplatz, 1030 Wien
add to my travel plan

St. Charles' Church (Karlskirche)

Karlsplatz , 1040 Wien
  • Prices

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Tu, 09:00 - 18:00
    • We, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 09:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 12:00 - 19:00
    • on holidays, 12:00 - 19:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 14 Steps ( Door  300  cm  wide )
        Heavy wooden door
    • Side entrance
      • no steps (Automatic sliding doors )
        Argentinierstraße (Ramp)
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Visitors with ID for persons with special needs: free entry and elevator to the panorama.

    • Comments

      Interior: 11 steps. Ask staff for assistance.

      Last elevator showing of the cupola: 17:30 and Sun & public holidays 18:30.

       

add to my travel plan

Schubert's Place of Death

Kettenbrückengasse 6, 1040 Wien
  • Prices

    • Adults   €4
    • Young people under 19   €0
  • Opening times

    • We - Th, 10:00 - 13:00
    • We - Th, 14:00 - 18:00
    • Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25
  • Accessibility

    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
add to my travel plan

Naschmarkt

Wienzeile, 1060 Wien
  • Opening times

    • Mo, 06:00 - 21:00
    • Tu, 06:00 - 21:00
    • We, 06:00 - 21:00
    • Th, 06:00 - 21:00
    • Fr, 06:00 - 21:00
    • Sa, 06:00 - 18:00
    • Food stands: Mo-Sa 6-23
add to my travel plan

Secession

Friedrichstraße 12 , 1010 Wien
  • Prices

  • Opening times

    • Tu, 10:00 - 18:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 18:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • 13 Steps (Swinging doors   120  cm  wide )
    • Side entrance
      • no steps (Swinging doors 120 cm wide )
        reachable via exterior elevator (bell)
    • Elevator available
      • 80 cm wide and 105 cm low , Door 80 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      (Audio guide free with the Vienna City Card, iBeacons technology and free audio tours for smartphones will be offered)
      People with disabilities pay the discounted admission price, companions enjoy free admission.

    • Comments

      Main exhibition rooms accessible by elevator. Access to all exhibition rooms: elevator. Elevator: door width: 80 cm, cabin depth: 105 cm, cabin width: 80 cm. Beethoven Frieze: 15 steps (escort required). Drawing Room: 24 steps.

       

add to my travel plan
Teilen, bewerten und Feedback
Rate this article
Feedback to the vienna.info editorial team

Please complete all the mandatory fields marked with *.

Title *