Jewish Heritage in Vienna: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Discover Vienna’s rich Jewish history and heritage that stretches back over 800 years and is by turns profoundly tragic and uplifting, on this fascinating half-day private walking tour of the Jewish areas, monuments, and a guided visit of Vienna’s Jewish Museum.
On your private tour you will:
- Enjoy the expertise of your English-speaking private tour guide;
- Begin your tour with an introduction to the Jewish community in Vienna from the middle ages to the present day;
- Walk to the Memorial for the Victims of the Gestapo, “Denkmal der Opfer des Faschismus” and hear the devastating stories of the round of Vienna’s Jews by the Gestapo;
- Walk along Judengasse “Jewish street” in the direction of the Synagogue;
- Admire the Stadttempel, the Main Synagogue of Vienna built 1824-26, the only one of Vienna’s 94 synagogues to survive World War II - for fascinating reasons;
- Head back down Judengasse, to Hoher Markt to see the Betrothal Fountain (Vermählungsbrunnen) an unusual monument dedicated to the marriage of Mary and Joseph;
- Stop outside Altes Rathaus: the Old City Hall of Vienna home of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance which documents Nazi Crimes and provides welfare and restitution to victims;
- Arrive at Judenplatz: Home to the evocative Holocaust Memorial, the Misrachi House and part of the Jewish Museum of Vienna;
- Admire the Am Hof, the oldest square in Vienna dating back to Roman times and which was part of the medieval Jewish city;
- Stop by Café Central where Jewish authors and intellectuals would meet regularly at the turn of the (19th/20th) century;
- Walk through Wallnerstrasse to the Plague Column, one of the most famous - and elaborate - monuments in the city, dedicated to the victims of the 1679 Plague;
- Enter the Jewish Museum of Vienna in the Palais Eskeles on Dorotheergasse where your guide will take you on an in-depth tour of Vienna’s Jewish history, culture, religion, persecution, and political, cultural and intellectual contributions to Vienna, Europe and the world.
- End your tour inside the museum where you can continue exploring at your own leisure, or enjoy a break at the Café Eskeles.
The Jewish community has a long and rich history in Vienna dating back at least 800 years. The Austrian Jews contributed to the cultural, political, social, and intellectual life of the city over many centuries; indeed at the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna was one of the most pre-eminent centres of Jewish culture in Europe.
Then came the Nazis - who were responsible for the almost complete extermination of Jewish life in Vienna during the Holocaust when almost the whole population of Vienna’s Jews were deported and murdered.
On your fascinating and often sombre private tour of Vienna’s Jewish history, you will see many Jewish memorials to the Holocaust as well as the Synagogue, where you’ll learn all about the horrors of Kristallnacht which took place on the 9 and 10 November 1938, when 267 synagogues through Austria, Germany, and the Sudetenland were destroyed, as were thousands of Jewish homes and businesses.
Nazi paramilitary was allowed to burn and destroy without let or hindrance. The only one of Vienna’s Synagogues to survive did so because its facade was “disguised” and the whole building was built into a residential apartment block.
Since 1945, Jewish culture has gradually been recovering in the city, and your tour of the Jewish Museum will trace the history of Jewish culture from the 12th century through to the present day.