Vienna is a little bit like modern art. It’s open to interpretation, but the overall consensus is that it is, still, a work of art. So few would think that the home of the Karlskirche, Stephansdom and Schönbrunn Palace could ever be held accountable for some unfortunate architectural mishaps. But yes, even Vienna gets ugly at times.
The Ugly Vienna Tour by Space and Place celebrates this unsung facet of Austria’s capital. Held throughout summery Saturday afternoons and evenings, British expat Eugene Quinn will guide you along his carefully planned, ‘beautifully ugly’ route. No holds barred.
A stark comparison to Vienna’s Jugendstil treasures, like the Secession Building, with its elegant gold-leaf dome, and the ornate Karlsplatz Pavillion, this is a tour for those who want to sidestep Viennese traditionalism. While it was blatantly enjoyable to tilt your head with a smirk at some of Vienna’s hangover buildings, the walk also provided some thought-provoking discussion on the importance of appropriate urban planning.
“Beautiful can be boring, but ugly never is.”
If you’re fan of architecture, or Vienna, or just exploring cities from a new perspective, then The Ugly Vienna Tour will leave you with a smile on your face, and a renewed appreciation for buildings of any shape and size. As Eugene himself says, “beautiful can be boring, but ugly never is”.
Article by Rowan Ottesen, Co-founder of The City Works.