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Courtesy of  Austrian National Library Archives
Courtesy of Austrian National Library Archives
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Can You Recognise Vienna From These Old Pictures?

Picture of Kate Jackson
Updated: 13 September 2017
Take a trip back in time with the following images of Vienna and for those that also have a more recent photo, compare them to the historical photographs. Not only do these amazing photographs depict how the Austrian capital has developed over the years, some of the more recent photos also illustrate how some areas have remained strikingly similar to the way they were decades—if not centuries—ago.

Karls Church c.1965

Erected in 1737, this iconic Baroque church has undergone various reconstructions in its lifetime. This photograph shows the area in the 1960s, before the addition of the Henry Moore sculpture in the fountain.

The Karls Church in the 60s (Vienna 504.997B)
The Karls Church in the 60s (Vienna 504.997B) | © ANL/Vienna 504.997B

Karls Church today

The Karls Church in modern times
The Karls Church in modern times | © Vienna Tourist Board

Praterstrasse c. mid 20th century

This prominent street in the 2nd District is full of traffic and pedestrians today, in stark contrast how quiet it appears to have been many years ago.

Praterstrasse (Vienna 234.401A(B) )
Praterstrasse (Vienna 234.401A(B) ) | © Austrian National LIbrary Archives

Augarten c.1900

A café in the Augarten (Vienna 412.982-B)
A café in the Augarten (Vienna 412.982-B) | © ANL/Vienna 412.982-B

Margaretenstraße c.1966

Margarenstrasse (234.401A(B) )
Margarenstrasse (234.401A(B) ) | © Austrian National Library Archives

Apollo Kino c.1950

This cinema opened its doors in the 1920s. One of the largest cinemas in all of Austria, it continues to be one of the most prominent landmarks on Gumpendorfer Straße.

The Apollo Theatre in the 6th District (Vienna 290.032D)
The Apollo Theatre in the 6th District (Vienna 290.032D) | © ANL/Vienna 290.032D

Mariahilferstrasse c. early 20th century

One of Vienna’s busiest pedestrianised shopping strips, this photograph shows the area before World War II.

Mariahilferstrasse (Vienna 140.880A(B) )
Mariahilferstrasse (Vienna 140.880A(B) ) | © ANL/Vienna 140.880A(B)

St. Stephen’s Cathedral c.1863

With countless architectural additions, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has changed dramatically over the years. Much of it was destroyed during World War II—including the iconic mosaic roof, which was later restored to its former glory.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna 111.590 C)
St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna 111.590 C) | © ANL/Vienna 111.590 C

St. Stephen’s Cathedral today

St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral | © edward stojakovic/Flickr

Palmenhaus in Schönbrunn c.1910

A man inside the Palmenhaus (Vienna 2230-B)
A man inside the Palmenhaus (Vienna 2230-B) | © ANL/Vienna 2230-B
The Palm House in Schoenbrunn (Vienna 531.081 – B)
The Palm House in Schoenbrunn (Vienna 531.081 – B) | © ANL/Vienna 531.081 - B

The Palmenhaus today

Schloß Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus
Schloß Schönbrunn, Palmenhaus | © Vienna Tourist Board

Donaupark c. mid 20th century

Donaupark (Vienna 232.503A(B) )
Donaupark (Vienna 232.503A(B) ) | © ANL/Vienna 232.503A(B)

Belvedere Palace c.1875

As visible from these photographs from the past and present, this Imperial structure has remained largely unchanged since its construction.

Belvedere Palace (Vienna 1251431)
Belvedere Palace (Vienna 1251431) | © ANL/Vienna 1251431
Close up of Belvedere Palace (Vienna WB 178 – C)
Close up of Belvedere Palace (Vienna WB 178 – C) | © ANL/Vienna WB 178 - C

Belvedere Palace today

Courtesy of Vienna Tourist Board
Courtesy of Vienna Tourist Board | © Vienna Tourist Board

The Vienna State Opera House c.1861

Now one of Vienna’s most iconic landmarks, these photographs show the mammoth construction site in 1861 and the magnificent building after its completion.

Opera House (Vienna LW 72.660C)
Opera House (Vienna LW 72.660C) | © ANL/Vienna LW 72.660C

Vienna State Opera House today

Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna
Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna | Courtesy Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Poehn

A Bird’s Eye View of Vienna: then

(Vienna 111.560D)
(Vienna 111.560D) | © ANL/Vienna 111.560D

A Bird’s Eye View of Vienna: today

Vienna at night
Vienna at night | © WienTourismus

Prater c.1950

Originally a hunting ground for the Viennese royals, the Emperor declared the park to be freely available to the public in 1766.

(Vienna 186.735A (B) )
(Vienna 186.735A (B) ) | © ANL/Vienna 186.735A(B)
Prater Amusement Park (Vienna 130.965B/C)
Prater Amusement Park (Vienna 130.965B/C) | Courtesy of Austrian National Library Archives

Prater Amusement Park today

The Prater Amusement Park
The Prater Amusement Park | Courtesy of Vienna Tourist Board

Neubaugasse c. early 20th century

Now one of the city’s trendiest areas, this photo depicts the street of Neubaugasse in quainter times.

Neubaugasse (Vienna 293.328B)
Neubaugasse (Vienna 293.328B) | Courtesy of Austrian National Library Archives

Haus Des Meeres c. mid 20th century

Constructed by Hitler during World War II, this Nazi Flak tower in the 6th District is now the city’s public aquarium.

Flak Tower (Vienna 111.249B)
Flak Tower (Vienna 111.249B) | Courtesy of Austrian National Library Archives

Haus Des Meeres today

Haus Des Meeres
Haus Des Meeres | © Andrew Nash/Flickr