Architecture of Red Vienna: 3-Hour Walking Tour with a Historian
Explore a seldom-visited Vienna on this 3-hour walking tour. In 1919 the socialists gained an absolute majority of the city government following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The 15 years following their rise to power is often referred to as Red Vienna. In this period, the government created a large amount of legislation to help with jobs and housing.
Your tour will start with two of the enormous Art Deco public housing properties on the edge of the city. 60,000 new units were built from 1925 to 1934, designed to be perfect little worlds for housing with public facilities such as common baths, public squares, and communal green areas. The areas were also meant to contain shops, libraries, theaters, kindergartens, medical clinics, laundromats, and political clubs.
One of these areas is Karl Marx-Hof. One of the largest estates, it was called the Ringstrasse of the Proletariat. A quick metro ride away is the second estate on the tour, the Reumannhof.
Your guide will also go over the civic functions of these complexes in great detail, including the complex aesthetic philosophies created in the process – a modest yet beautiful area in Art Deco to promote lower middle class and working class community belonging. At the same time, the socialist politicians created awkward propaganda which failed to promote the utopian idea amidst the difficult post-war problems of the city. These difficulties led to the eventual failure of the socialist government and the Nazi takeover in 1938.