Track, Vienna, News
A route over ground that's full of history and dark secrets!
- Plant life
- Picnic places
- Places for sports + games
- Children's play areas
Challenge: 2 (sports shoe)
Circuit: Steinhofgründe via Dehnepark, Feuerwache and Otto-Wagner-Spital
Start point: 1140 Vienna, Dehnegasse/Rosentalgasse
Coordinates: 48°12'10.28"N, 16°15'41.39"E
Public Transport: 49 > Bahnhofstraße stop
The exhibition at Spiegelgrund – NS-Medizinverbrechen in Österreich [Nazi Medical Crimes in Austria] – has tempted the urbs to Penzing today. Of course, this is also a good excuse to take a closer look at the surrounding area too. In summary, hiking this route is hugely varied, climbs, drops, tarns, deep woodland, luscious pasture and lots to explore. From the ruined neo-Gothic Villa, to Art Nouveau jewels (the church and theatre at Steinhof) and the lovely natural formations in the Steinhof grounds.
Go to Google-Maps
The start point is at the beginning of Dehnegasse. Walk along here till you get to number 15. When you get there, a door leads directly into Dehnepark. From the play area keep to the left (parallel to the Rosenbach stream), past a waterfall and pond to the opposite end of the park.
Here, a twisting path leads up to the right to Dehnepark – the exit at Herschweg. When you get there, you can see the entrance to the Steinhof grounds. Go through, then straight on to the Severin Pavillion. Then go over the track through the fields there, up to a small hut on the main path, which looks a little like a barn.
Go past the hut to the right in a gentle curve (NNE) till you reach a large crossing next to Steinhof fire station. Cross this in the direction of the play area. Follow this path further till a turn for Kirche am Steinhof. After this, turn right into the street, and go past pavillions 1, 3, 5 and Vindobona, to the Pulmologischen Zentrum exit. Turn right into Sanatoriumstraße, and go along the wall to the turn for Dehnegasse.
Take this, to come back to Dehnepark a little further on. Now keep straight on to the ruined villa, where a path leads off to the left, and heads back to the play area and start point. Now go back onto Dehnegasse to get to where you started off.
Dehnepark and Steinhof, are located in an area that has known much sorrow over the centuries. During the first Turkish siege, according to Meldeman, thousands of men, women and children were horribly strangled. The three outbreaks of plague and a cholera epidemic claimed many more victims. There were terrible battles when the French invaded, which also took a toll of human life. This area has even seen a plague of locusts, which is most unusual for these surroundings. The October revolution was particularly bloody in Penzing. The deepest point of suffering however had to be reached under the Nazi government. Uncountable patients must have lost their lives at what is now the Otto Wagner Hospital, when it became the centre of Nazi eugenics.
THE PAVILLIONS AND THEIR DARK SECRETS
The idea that mentally and physically challenged people represented a threat to "racial health" dates from 1900. This notion was based on Darwinian theories of evolution. Medical thought at the time began to advocate the removal of the "hereditarily defective" from the gene pool.
This idea fell on fertile ground with the Nazi's. Today's Otto Wagner Hospital was then one of their dark showcases. To the left of the site there is the children's psychiatric clinic, called "Am Spiegelgrund". The young patients were examined in pavilion 17, and if found to be "unbrauchbar"[of no use], were sent to pavilion 15.
Eight hundred murders were carried out here. Many of the children were also used as guinea pigs for vaccine and infectious disease trials.
opening times October to March: 6:30am till 7pm
April to September: 6:30am till 9pm
Longer some days
Pavilion V – am Spiegelgrund
Nazi medical crimes in Vienna exhibition at Otto Wagner Hospital
Opening times see http://www.gedenkstaettesteinhof.at
The free tour is highly recommended
Call +431-2289469-319 to enquire!
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