Vienna is a city of many wonders, but unknown to many, there is a country within this city. As strange as it might sound, but it is true. The “Republic of Kugelmugel“, as the micronation calls itself, is a spherical house located in Katzledorf, Lower Austria.
How a country exists inside Vienna – the story
History has it that in 1971, an Austrian artist named Edwin Lipburger built this house, which is based on the principle that spherical buildings make for more natural and livable spaces as the shape itself is found in nature. He named the house Kugelmugel (in German Kugel means sphere and mugel refers to bumpy fields). Lipburger built this piece of art on his vision of having an ideal space which was a peaceful bubble floating above untouched green surfaces.
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Welcome to the Republic of Kugelmugel on a need to know basis – if the 600+ citizens decided to converge on the spot at the same time there’d be a logistical crisis. Click the link in the bio to learn how one man (later the first President took artistic freedom to new heights in order to fight the folks who hate spherical homes. (Extra image at @greyscapeworld )
However, his vision turned ideal was soon threatened by the Austrian authorities who found the building unnatural. Furthermore, they refused to issue a building permit and threatened to demolish it. But Lipburger found a cunning way to save his work of art – he started claiming the spherical house an independent nation, the Republic of Kugelmugel!
This move led to further problems with the authorities as he now refused to pay any Austrian taxes, because he was the President of his own Republic. This ultimately landed him in more trouble with the authorities who sentenced Lipburger to 10 months of imprisonment until he was finally granted an official pardon by the President of Austria, Rudolf Kirchshläger who refused to demolish Kugelmugel.
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Kugelmugel: Im Inneren der Kugel 2 : Room with a view #ferriswheel #riesenrad #prater #leopoldstadt #igersvienna #igersaustria #wienstagram #archilovers #architecturephotography #streetsofvienna #vscoaustria #vsco #vienna_city #viennaonly #vienna #wien #amusementpark #park #flakphotorecs #kugelmugel #exhibtion #art #kugel
Finally in 1982, the Republic of Kugelmugel was moved to Vienna’s Prater Park where Lipburger continued to claim the structure as a Republic. He enclosed the structure with barbed wire and a few signs that accused the Austrian Government of terrible crimes against free expression of art.
Republic of Kugelmugel – a must-see attraction in Austria
The Republic of Kugelmugel has now become a tourist spot attracting several visitors from all around the globe. The intriguing history of how freedom of art led an artist to declare an independent nation within a federal country fascinates many of us. Currently the micro-nation is uninhabited but it is indeed a view with its spherical shape, barbed wires festooned with designer-industrial signage for retro-Berlin thrills.
Best of all, the Republic of Kugelmugel is a country that is round and as President Lipburger once said, ‘Round is Free!’