The Viennese Josefstadt
A historic artists’ district worth exploring
Vienna’s 8th district “Josefstadt” was first mentioned in 1700, when a previously unnamed settlement at the gates of Vienna was acquired by the city and named after the then Crown Prince and later Emperor Joseph I (1678-1711).
The development of the area took place in several phases, also from 1770 to 1780 under Emperor Joseph II. In the late 19th century, when the Vienna city hall, the parliament, the palace of justice and the university were built, many officials, students and scientists settled in the nearby Josefstadt.
Ever since, the Josefstadt is also home to great artists. Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Johann Strauss Father and Son, Josef Lanner, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Arthur Schnitzler, Anton Wildgans, Heimito von Doderer, H.C. Artmann, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Adele Neuhauser, Nicholas Ofczarek - it is only a small selection of famous "Josefstädter".
Ödön von Horváth was inspired by the Josefstadt as well. In his world-famous piece ‘Tales of the Vienna Woods’ he writes about a quite street in the 8th district where he imagines a clinic of dolls, a tobacco store and a butcher. This so-called quite street quite literally is today´s Lange Gasse around the corner from our hotel. On house number 29 you can still see the balcony of the „magic king“. Furthermore, you will find small shops and lovingly run cafes that invite you to browse and linger.
In Josefstädter Straße only a few meters further the Theater in der Josefstadt (no. 26) and the traditional Kurkonditorei Oberlaa (no. 31) are situated.
Other highlights in the immediate vicinity include the well-preserved Biedermeier houses in Lenaugasse and the baroque Maria Treu church in Piaristengasse.
The Josefstadt may be the smallest district of Vienna, but it clearly has a lot to offer.