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Eckhart Derschmidt | profile | all galleries >> My Vienna >> Last Waltz tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Last Waltz

Images from Vienna's most prominent ruin - a former ballroom and concert hall that burned down five years ago. The building had a changeful history - built about 150 years ago, it was a public bath in summer, and a dance and concert hall in winter. The opening of the concert hall - with space for 2,700 guests Vienna's biggest hall at that time - was conducted by Johann Strauss sr. in 1848. After WWII, 1948 the building was completely renovated. Besides continuing to be one of Vienna's foremost ballrooms, it also gained reputation for its good accoustics, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and many others recorded there. In 1986, the main hall was put under monument protection. During repair works on the roof, the truss caught fire and the building burned down almost to the foundations. Due to legal disputes, the building remained in the condition after the fire until now (for once, it never was clarified without doubt whether or not the building was torched intentionally, as the "accident version" was not very credible, but there alsowas not enough evidence to prove the contrary. Furthermore, as the main hall is under monument protection, it was not possible to tear down the remains and replace it with something completely new.). Only recently, the owners have announed that they now have concrete plans, whereby the main hall will be reconstructed and integrated in the new building. When I heard about this, , I decided to climb over the fence and have a look inside to take a few pics (after passing by the ruin twice a day for five years). An outside view of the building is here.

Title of the gallery by courtesy of Laine.
Decay Decay 2
Corridor to nowhere