For architecture enthusiasts, the Jugendstil buildings of the Fin-de-Siècle are a must-see in Vienna. But did you know that in the small town of Brunn am Gebirge, just outside of Vienna, there is an entire street with Jugendstil buildings?
By accident, my mum discovered the street in an article. As we had never heard about this Jugendstil area, we decided to stop in Brunn on our way to Vienna on a sunny spring morning.
The beginning of the street looks like a typical Austrian country-side residential area of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
You might feel like walking through a scene of Ödön von Horvath’s “Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald”.
But when you reach number 22 of Franz-Keim-Gasse, the atmosphere changes drastically with a row of white Jugendstil houses. Even after more than 100 years, these buildings seem extremely modern.
From 1902 ownards, the architect Sepp Hubatsch constructed ten two-family homes on his own land which had been used as vineyards. Two of the houses remained his property.
All the houses are similar regarding the structure: they all have four-window-rows, floor plans and flat roofs. Even though the street moves downhill, they all seem to have a similar height due to the way they were constructed.
Almost all of the houses are kept white with gold ornaments. With the exception of number 18 and 8 – the tree ornaments are worked into a beige background.
One of the few details in the entire row of houses is the painting of angels on the top part of number 16.
Another exception in the white-and-gold colour scheme is number 6 with its beautiful door.
The row of houses was constructed in two phases: the first one from 1902-03 involved the building of numbers 4 to 8. All these houses have a clear religious component, such as the sculpture of a Madonna on number 8.
Also, the angel frieze on number 4 relates to the religious theme.
This angel frieze was also repeated on the front of number 14, which was built during the second construction phase. The sayings on number 4 and 8 also represent religious themes.
This religious component is also reflected in the sayings on number 4 and 8. Furthermore, the first houses can be distinguished from those from the later periods with their vegetal ornaments.
In addition to the above-mentioned angel frieze, the frieze of gold leaves is represented twice – on number 10 and 20 – as is the tree ornament – number 8 and 18.
The houses erected during the second construction phase after 1908 do not have a religious theme and look more geometric than the earlier ones.
The architect Sepp Hubatsch used to live in number 14, until his death in 1935, he lived in number 16. The houses of the second construction period also have balconies which are typical of the Wiener Jugendstil.
Brunn am Gebirge is only a stone throw away from Vienna’s city centre. And if you have time, I really recommend going there and visiting this true hidden gem.
How to Get There
You can take the train from Vienna Main Train Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof). Lines S2 (direction: Wiener Neustadt) and S3 (direction: Moedling) take you to Brunn am Gebirge in roughly 20 minutes. A return ticket is about EUR 8,20 (about USD 10).
By car, it will take you 20-25 minutes. There are plenty of parking spaces in Franz-Keim-Gasse and the surrounding area.
All information as of the date of publishing. Sources for background information of this text: