Arsenal is a secret part of the city, romantic and strange. On this walk we will look at the district nearby this former military barracks, including Helmut-Zilk-Park, Hauptbahnhof, Belvedere and 21er Haus.
As the name suggests, Arsenal has been an arms manufacturer and base for soldiers for 170 years. This building was of such strategic importance to the Nazis, that they moved it (administratively) from Favoriten to Landstrasse, even though it sits outside the Gürtel. Because of its elevated position, it functions as a practical way to protect the city from the South, just beside the main railway station. And the development of Hauptbahnhof is helping to push the centre of gravity in Vienna further south. But the raised platform that brings trains into the station from the East represents a new barrier between rich and poor, central and south Wien. Alongside the Gürtel, these railway tracks form a psychological and physical barrier which many people do not cross. BUT WE WILL, several times, on our urban exploration.
Arsenal is also the name of a district in north London, tour guide Eugene’s home town, though that place is much less beautiful than this. But better at football.
Impulstanz is the largest contemporary dance festival in Europe, and this was the original focus of our tour, but the event has now been cancelled due to Corona. The whole city becomes a dancefloor for one month every summer, and we wanted to join in. Many visitors to Vienna are surprised to discover how rarely one hears loud music in this ‚capital of music‘, and also how little the Viennese dance, even when confronted with funky sounds. Walk leader Eugene, as DJ, can confirm that many Viennese live more in their head than their body. But Impuls proves that there is a vivid party crowd in the city also. It is a cosmopolitan, engaged group, and shows that we Viennese know that music is for: movement. And therefore Impulstanz is important, as a provocation, a sexy moment in the year to be creative and think about movement, a time of new friends and collectives, of performance and release.
Meeting point: Bahnsteig 11d
Walk Choreographer: Eugene Quinn (0680 1254354)
Date: Saturday, 25th July
Time: 12:00 – 14:15. We walk in every weather.
Cost contribution: €10, or €50 for all 14 walks. Children 14 or under go free. No reservation is possible – just get a card on the day. No tour is ever sold out, so don’t worry about not getting a place on the walk.
Fidelia Gartner (TU Wien Raumplanung/ISRA) and Lisa Fuchs (Max Planck Institute) finely translated these pages into German, added ideas, and helped select the images. Thanks to them for their valuable input.
Impulstanz Contest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYOaTV63vFM
This is how to dance, with freedom and joy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RecY5iZn6B0
Dancing is about nonverbal communication, and collective joy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKIngOqVbBc
And of course dance is also about look-at-me sexiness, when you get it right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JkIs37a2JE
Who cares about the rain, it’s about representation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhDgpXWkFHE
Everybody can dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95H5Gbtw7Rs
Of course the Viennese can dance, when it involves politics also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OjXQEQuPsg
Is this the appropriate message for Vienna, in the other 11 months of the year, outside of Impulstanzzeit?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNJVFloPIVA