Monday, April 23, 2007

Karl Marx - Hof

On Sunday I made it for another walk around Vienna with my friend Hannah. It wasn't the best walk, but it did let me achieve two of my goals: 1. to go and walk around the Heilegenstadt U-Bahn Stop (Holy City), and 2. to check out the Karl Marx-Hof. There isn't so much out there, but with a name like 'Holy City' you just get curious after a while (especially since here uptown/downtown doesn't make sense so for the U-Bahn they use the last stop on the line to indicate which way the train is going and I just kept seeing it again and again). So sadly Heiligenstadt is not a land of Ivory towers and pure hearted crusaders, but the Karl Marx-Hof is there and it's pretty cool.

Here's another nicer picture of it:

What you are looking at is probably less than a tenth of the entire complex. It was/is a tremendous housing project built after WWI. Back then there was real tension between Vienna and the rest of Austria as Vienna was a center of socialism with the motto of 'socialism in one city' and the rest of Austria was pretty conservative. So there was a lot of tension in Austria and even a short civil war. So the Karl Marx-Hof was one of the socialist projects in Vienna, obviously it provided housing, but if you believe my German teacher it was also meant as a fortress for the anticipated the military conflict. The support for that argument would be that the complex is huge, wit thick walls, and with small windows perfect for snipers. So a mixture of the projects and a battle fortress. I kind've think it looks like some science themed super villian's lair. Also, there was this random statue in the park:

Marx in his boyish pre-bearded glory?

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