Living in Vienna, 1890-1939

Bill Murray investigates the politics of social housing in the Austrian capital.

The view that 'in the second half of the nineteenth century, Vienna was the relatively modern capital of a relatively backward empire' provides a handy introduction to this capital of a polyglot empire, that more than most Victorian capitals was a city of contrasts and contradictions. The city had a long imperial tradition and still retained its reputation as a centre of culture and intellectual brilliance and yet seemed vulnerable to the extremes of racial, political and religious feelings. It can be suggested that a reflection of these tensions is to be found in the story of Vienna's housing.

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