Vienna Photos: Spittelberg area

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The Spittelberg is a neighbourhood that was built in the early 19th century

The Spittelberg is a neighbourhood in Vienna that is often called "the village in the city". In fact, the Spittelberg is very central - located just behind the MuseumsQuartier in the very fashionable 7th district or Neubau. The village spirit comes from the small houses, most of which are late Baroque or date back to the early 19th century.

The Spittelberg used to be a dodgy neighbourhood full of brothels and dubious bars; surprisingly, this lasted until after WWII and I know somebody who studied in Vienna only some 40 years ago and who can still recall the Spittelberg as a neighbourhood full of disintegrating houses and cheap student accommodation. During this era, the Spittelberg became popular with young people, students and artists - and as a result, the Spittelberg became an arty and intellectual place.

Today, this has changed again: Most of the Spittelberg was refurbished with a lot of dedication in recent years and housing has become extremely expensive. Most art workshops have become crafts shops and the Spittelberg is well-known for its bobos (Bohemian Bourgeoisie) and restaurants. I usually recommend the Spittelberg if people ask me for proper Austrian food in a central location - here you can chose from more than a dozen of restaurants.