Handelskai Road, Vienna
The Handelskai is a very long street in Vienna, in fact one of the longest in the city: It stretches over some 8.5 kilometres along the Danube on the eastern border of the 20th and 2nd district (jointly known as "Matzo Island"). Strictly speaking, the Handelskai does not run along the Danube – it runs in parallel, as for most of its course, there is a promenade and the railways of the Donauuferbahn in between. All of these structures (Danube shoreline, promenade, railway and Handelskai) were built with a major river training program around 1875.
The Handelskai sets out at the Nussdorfer Wehr, the lock designed by Otto Wagner. It is interrupted by a motorway exit at the Nordbrücke Bridge and formally ends at Aspernallee in the second district. Here, the Handelskai is continued as the entrance streets to the Freudenau port at the southern tip of the Matzo Island (or rather the Leopoldstadt or 2nd District).
Features of the Handelskai
The characteristics of the Handelskai are generally what you would expect from a straight road with a lot of traffic: It is commercial, busy, noisy and even though it has quite a few residential buildings along its course, the Handelskai is not considered to be a very attractive area to live in (see also the Gürtel, which has similar problems).
The name "Handelskai" means "Trade/Commerce Banks", referring to the business that was done by the river banks of the Danube. Ships landed, delivered cargo or picked up some new. Well into the 20th century, many sections of the Handelskai were characterised by warehouses, mornings and cranes. Today, only few of these survive, as most of the commercial activities have long moved to the port in Freudenau. The best-known attractions along the Handelskai are probably the Millennium Tower and the Kirche am Mexikoplatz.
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