“Freiwilliger Durchgang” is a pretty funny term because literally translated this would mean “walk through voluntarily”. In fact this is very old German language, so the actual meaning is slightly different from that: In the early 19th-century more & more houses were built in Vienna so that people had to walk around blocks. Here it must be said that the typical Viennese is a lazy one. So the owner of buildings that were connected by their courtyards voluntarily allowed pedestrians to take a shortcut through their property.
Nowadays there are only a few of those hidden ‘time machines’ left in Vienna. Why time machine? Those alleyways are now considered as precious architectural heritage and are therefore listed buildings. You can enter one of these connecting passages on shopping street Mariahilferstraße 45, this one you can walk down until you get to the Naschmarkt (check out the Naschmarkt article!).
In the Raimundhof alleyway you’ll find a nice jewelry shop right when you enter it and a bit further down on the left is one of my favorite shops called Gräfin vom Raimundhof. There are nice bars and restaurants as well, all set in the small and quiet passage where you might get a sense of how Vienna was like in the Biedermeier era.
Freiwilliger Durchgang | Art & culture, Bars, Shopping, Restaurants (Intern.)
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