My name is Ingeborg Seitz and I am the director of the Austria Classic Hotel Vienna. There is always something going on in Vienna and this time I am taking you to Baumgarnter Höhe.
The journey from the hotel takes about 50 minutes (U1 to Stephansplatz, U3 to Ottakring and then with bus 48a to Otto Wagner Spital. You can look for 6 sculptures by the Austrian artist Peter Kogler there until the end of October 2023. Simply search for them on your mobile phone Download the free augmented reality app “WIKAR” and off you go. At the Otto Wagner Hospital area, follow the signs, scan a QR code and suddenly an ant, a brain and 4 other sculptures appear on the display. They cannot be seen with the naked eye and it was funny how other walkers marveled at us. An older lady asked what we were doing and we explained it to her and she immediately downloaded the app and was delighted. You can then photograph the sculptures directly and take creative photos.
When you reach the top, you are at the church at Steinhof. It can be visited on weekends (entrance fee €5) and was built between 1904 and 1907 based on designs by Otto Wagner. Art Nouveau all over and the view over Vienna from up there is fantastically beautiful. Tip: when the weather is nice, the golden elements on the facade shine twice as beautifully. Attention - Opening hours: only till October 29th, 2023, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. I suggest that you check the opening hours before you to there. The Steinhof grounds behind the church extend over 43 hectares. They offer plenty of space for walks, hikes, sports and we saw many children flying kites there. The area was scheduled to be developed at the end of the 1970s. However, 140,000 Viennese spoke out against it in a referendum.
In search of the sculptures, you walk past the pavilions of the Penzing Clinic. Until 2020 it was called Otto Wagner Hospital and the Viennese still call it “Steinhof” colloquially. It is best known for the psychiatric hospital. I also remember that my parents always said that I shouldn't be so crazy because otherwise I would end up in “Steinhof”. Not all of the 26 pavilions are still in use and some, with their full bars, are witnesses to the past.
Right in the middle you will find this theater. Wikipedia describes it quite well: “It occupies a central location in the hospital and is considered a symbolic link between the church as a “symbol of the power of the spirit over the irrationality of illness” and the management building, which “represents the mere rational administration of madness embodied. A memorial for euthanasia during the Nazi era was erected in front of it. It consists of many lights and is very thought-provoking.
After part of the hospital site was sold to two larger property developers, construction plans became more concrete a few years ago. However, there has been clear resistance from various citizens' initiatives for years. The area should not be built on but should serve a community benefit. We'll see what the future brings. In any case, it is worth a visit and visitors to Vienna should especially see the church at Steinhof.