Quirky Vienna – Opera Toilet, Flak Tower4 August, 2009
Following up from this morning’s post on the quirky sides of Vienna, I will be sharing with you how Viennese had integrated the Opera culture into even their toilets.
Opera Culture in Vienna
Just underneath the Vienna Opera House lies a public toilet that plays Mozart music. For €0.60, you get to soak in the entire Opera atmosphere as you go about doing what you have to do.
The following picture and video will provide you with a peek at its interior.
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A video of the “atmospheric” Opera Toilet – not filmed by me. If you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to refrain from watching this video; can get quite dizzying at times but you will see what the interior looks like.
The Opera also provides free live telecasts of their performances outside. We would have to soak in the REAL Opera atmosphere by watching a performance but it is way too cold.. brrr..
Indestructible Flak Towers (Flaktürme)
During World War II, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) constructed large, above-ground anti-aircraft gun blockhouses flak towers to defend Vienna against Allied air attack. They also served as air-raid shelters for tens of thousands of Viennese.
With concrete walls up to 3.5 metres thick, these flak towers were considered to be invulnerable to attack with the usual ordnance carried by Allied bombers. After the war was lost, the demolition of the towers was in most cases unfeasible and many remain to this day.
The L-Tower in Esterhazypark is used as an aquarium. It used to serve as a Lead Tower with these functions: fire-control tower, command tower, listening bunker or small flak tower (YES! this is a small one – there are other bigger ones in Berlin and Vienna).
For a depiction of how these towers were used back in World War II, see the following video:
Honor System (Newspapers) & Roadside Water-Coolers
Vienna practises an honor system to sell their newspapers. To buy a newspaper, all one have to do is find a newspaper holder around lampposts, drop the right amount into the coin slot and take your newspapers. However there is no locking mechanism that is unlocked upon the drop of the coin, you can remove the newspapers even without paying. Interesting… Check out the following picture for a demo (Demo only! I did not take the paper ;-p)
If you are thirsty while touring around Vienna, watch out for these huge water coolers by the roads. Convenient.. :-p