Austria is synonymous with many names like ‘The City of Music’ or the ‘City of Dreams’ and is also known for a plethora of stunning historical buildings – a testament to its historical establishment. Known for hosting major culture, economy and politics, Vienna (the Austrian Capital) was recently declared as the ‘Most Liveable City’, prompting people around the globe to pose the question ‘What is so special about Austria’? With this blog we are going to explore certain offbeat places to see in Austria. These attractions might come across as quirky but trust us, these are few of the interesting places of interest in Austria that is a must visit.
Unique Places To Visit In Austria
The Narenturm was one of the first asylum ever built for the mentally disturbed. Literally translated as ‘Fools Tower’ this Viennese asylum no longer holds the mentally imbalanced, but it does have something of interest: The Anatomical – Pathological Museum, in layman’s language it resembles a 5 storied fortress that carries an extensive collection of items related to anatomy and pathology. The museum still houses a giant Hydrocephalic skeleton which is a must-see.
Address: Uni Campus, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Wien, Austria
2. Swarovski Kristallwelten
The name might be a tongue twister, but Swarovski is a brand that is known for its crystals globally and the Swarovski Crystal World is a museum like no other. Inside there are spectacles of art installations and breath-taking collection of crystals. The museum is also located against a verdant hill and at its entry is a foliage covered giant’s face that imparts a mystical aura.
Address: Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens, Austria
3. Republic of Kugelmugel
Planning to visit Vienna? Then don’t miss on this country housed inside Vienna. Believe it or not, Vienna houses a micro nation within itself. Yes, as unbelievable as it might sound, but the Republic of Kugelmugel is a nation in itself. It is a spherical house designed by Austrian artist, Edwin Lipburger in 1971 and the house invoked a dispute between the Austrian Government and the artist, pushing the latter to declare the structure as an independent nation. Even though the structure is enclosed within barbed wires, it is a Vienna highlight and can be viewed from a distance!
Address: 2., Antifaschismusplatz, Prater, Vienna, Austria
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4. Cemetery of the Nameless
The Friedhof Der Namenlosen or the Cemetery of the Nameless is located near the junction of Danube Canal and Danube itself. The cemetery is quite far from the centre of Vienna and the fact that it is quite difficult to reach, makes the trip feel like a pilgrimage. Most of the corpses here are unidentified victims of drowning in the Danube, who were brought ashore by the river’s current. Every year on All Saint’s Day (1st November) the nameless are remembered. Some fishermen from the Albern area keep an old tradition running by building a raft decorated with flowers which bears a commemorative inscription for these nameless victims of the Danube. The raft is then floated down the river while a band plays music in the background and is then left to follow the slow currents downstream – symbolising the original way in which these bodies had arrived.
Address: Alberner Hafenzufahrtsstraße, 1110 Wien, Austria
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5. Stairs of Reconciliation
Even though this is not one of the top tourist attractions in Austria, but this gem deserves more attention. Stairs of Reconciliation is a part of the Graz Castle, located on the east side of town, the existence of these stairs is relatively unknown to a lot of tourists. The origin of these stairs traces back to 1438 and it is nothing but a merger of two opposing staircases that re-join on every floor till the top. The simplicity of this architecture is nothing short of a sheer insight given the time period it was constructed.
Address: Hofgasse 15, 8010 Graz, Austria