Up to the Leopoldsberg at 424 m above sea level. Vienna itself is 193m or 633 feet. However it all depends where you are as the city is built on a series of ancient river terraces and there is a lot of undulation in the landscape under all that concrete.
The sensible way to get up to the top of this Wiener Hausberg = Vienna’s own hill, is not to huff and puff up from the river but to catch a bus from Grinzing, a wine village well-frequented by tourists and locals. Actually Vienna has two ‘Hausbergs’ – the other one used to be called Leopoldsberg but is now called Kahlenberg. How very confusing.
The current Leopoldsberg has a strong connection with the routing of the siege of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1683 as the relieving forces, amassed from many Christian countries of central Europe approached the city from the North West and had to get over these Housebergs to dispel the well-entrenched Ottomans at the 11th hour.
This stone commemorates the 300th anniversary of the defence of the city during the second siege.
The Leopoldsberg has a ‘nose’ and the path I chose was called the noseway. It afforded superb views on this particular day. The effect was even more dramatic with the fog which hung low on the north bank of the Danube. And what is more – the Danube was blue as blue can be. It isn’t always. Sorry to disappoint.
At the foot of the nose is a village called Kahlenbergerdorf. The village of Kahlenberg – although it’s at the foot of the Leopoldsberg. It’s a cute little place with momentoes to Franz Schubert, Danube maidens and the Ottoman siege. The Ottoman Sultans besieged Vienna several times. The most decisive were 1529 and 1683. The surrounding villages were either burned to the ground by the locals or by the invaders so most of the villages and churches outside of the central first district of Vienna usually date from the end of the 17th century.
I am now up to 2,541 streets and squares and the walking continues…