The Vienna Story
Vienna is known for art and culture. The variety of museums for the visual arts, a wide range of theatres providing countless opportunities to enjoy the performing arts and opera and concert halls providing an ample supply of music. But the special thing about Vienna is, when the occasion arises, there is dancing everywhere. Waltzing. One of the Austrian traditions is to dance a waltz at the turn of the year. Year after year begins with a festive throng of people dancing to the Blue Danube Waltz in every possible public square.
Almost no other motif runs through the past 250 years of highly-emotional Viennese history quite like it. It replaced the French minuet as the most popular dance. The waltz made the final breakthrough when the European aristocracy met in 1814/1815 at the Congress of Vienna to redraw the borders of Europe after Napoleon’s defeat. Naturally, all eyes were on Vienna and since then the waltz has been very closely connected with Vienna.
Incidentally, waltz comes from the Middle High German word “walzen”, which means “to turn”. Just like the word German word “Walze”, meaning a roller, the tool with which painters apply paint to a wall as evenly as possible. Not necessarily always evenly. In Vienna you can find rolled patterns in many stairwells, particularly in old buildings dating from the late 19th century. These were applied with textured rollers. As this element is so typical of Vienna, and in particular the area around the Naschmarket, we have incorporated references to the Naschmarket as part of the redesign of the entrance area and lobby in wombat’s CITY HOSTEL. The textured rollers for this were supplied as antiques. After this technique no longer came to be used in new buildings, it survived mainly thanks to the many old buildings. Just like the Viennese self-image of being the centre of the world around which everything revolves.
Even though the monarchy has fallen and the borders of the state have contracted, Vienna is the capital of an empire that hasn’t existed for a long time.