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Blutgasse (Vienna)

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Subway: Stephansplatz

 

 

 

Description of Blutgasse

Blutgasse or Blood Street/ Lane got its grim name after a 1312 massacre of mysterious Order of Knights Templar. Medieval Catholic Order didn't go down without a fight so they tried to take their last stand here. All of them were killed in brutal street skirmishes. Unfortunately nothing is left of the original Medieval houses. All of the houses you see today date back to the 18th and 19th century.

 

The houses of the Blood Alley go back to the Middle Ages in their foundations. The area is considered one of the oldest in Vienna. In 1368 street was first mentioned as Kotgässel in 1392. Further mentions of the alley speak of the lane behind the German Lords (1394), of the Kergässel (1406 and 1411), of the Blutgasse (since 1547) and the Milchgasse (1600); since 1862 the official name of the street is Blutgasse. The interpretation of these names is considered unclear, although the name Kotgässel seems to be related to the condition of the road. To explain the name blood alley, there is a tradition that speaks of slaughterhouses in the area, with the spilled blood has run through the alley; another tradition relates the name to the Knights Templar, who were said to have been slaughtered in 1342 at the Fähnrichhof, whereupon the lane was full of their spilled blood. Both stories are not considered by historians to be valid. After the area was very run-down after the Second World War, between 1960 and 1965 Herbert Thurner and Friedrich Euler made their first revitalization of the area, which was, however, associated with far-reaching changes in the interior. From 1989 to 1991, the facades were renovated and their baroque form restored.

 

 

 

 

 

History

The foundations of the houses in Blutgasse go back to the Middle Ages; the area is considered one of the oldest in Vienna. In 1368 it was first mentioned as a manure gassel by the German men, in 1392 it was only called a manure gassel. Other mentions of the alley speak of the alley behind the German gentlemen (1394), the Kergässel (1406 and 1411), the Blutgasse (since 1547) and the Milchgasse (1600); The official name Blutgasse has been in use since 1862. The interpretation of these names is considered unclear, although the name Kotgässel seems to be related to the condition of the street. To explain the name Blutgasse there is a tradition that speaks of slaughterhouses in the area, whereby the blood spilled is said to have run through the alley; another tradition relates the name to the Knights Templar, who are said to have been slaughtered in the Ensign Court in 1312, whereupon the alley was full of their spilled blood. Historians do not consider either story to be valid. After the area was very run down after the Second World War, Herbert Thurner and Friedrich Euler first revitalized the area between 1960 and 1965, but this was associated with far-reaching changes inside. From 1989 to 1991 the facades were renovated and their baroque shape restored.

 

 

Location and characteristics
Blutgasse runs from Domgasse in a southwesterly direction to Singerstrasse. It is a narrow old town alley that is designed as a pedestrian zone. At the end at Singerstrasse, candle arches span the alley. Extensive building complexes with picturesque inner courtyards and Pavlatschen corridors are located here, some of which are interconnected. Its external appearance dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, although the building structure is mostly older. As a result of the revitalization measures, the houses are now inhabited. Mostly tourists like to visit this area. All buildings are listed.

Buildings
No. 1 Trienter Hof
The building, also known as the Domherrenhof, Altes Chorherrenhaus or Strudenhof, originally goes back to two different medieval buildings. The name Trienter Hof comes from one of the owners, Konrad Hinderbach, who was the canon of Trento in 1470–1488. Between 1753 and 1755 the current tenement building with two courtyards was built by Johann Enzenhofer. In the previous building, the master builder Francesco d'Allio lived in 1733–1736, in the current building before 1850 the musician Georg Hellmesberger senior. The house is at the main address Domgasse 4.

No. 2 Domherrenhof
At the Blutgasse is the simple back of the Domherrenhof, which was built in 1837-1842 by Leopold Mayr in the late classicist style as a house with two courtyards. The main address is at Stephansplatz 5.

No. 3 Medieval town house
The core of the building dates from the 1st half of the 13th century. It originally consisted of three parts and was then combined and expanded in 1558–1560 with an additional courtyard wing. Finally, after 1733, the storey was increased and facades restored, as well as the installation of a staircase and Pawlatschen. The baroque facade has been bent several times and changed on the ground floor. The two-storey upper zone is pulled together by plaster frames and has stone-framed windows. Particularly noteworthy are the two irregular Pawlatschenhöfe, one behind the other, which lead as a passage to Grünangergasse. In the back area there is a late Gothic or Renaissance ground floor window. A stone arched portal leads to the basement. There is still significant late Romanesque building substance from the 1st half of the 13th century with quarry stone masonry and 5 round-arched slit windows. There is a cross-vaulted foyer in the house and a stitch cap barrel on the ground floor.

No. 4 Teutonic Order
In the Blutgasse lies the back of the Teutonic Order, after which the alley was originally named (Kotgässel by the German gentlemen). The facade is divided on the corner to Singerstrasse according to the main facade by pilasters in baroque style, followed by a six-axis early baroque facade structure, which is characterized by triangular and segmental gable roofs and cord cornices. At the right end there is another, simpler facade from the 4th quarter of the 16th century, which is structured by cornice bands. The main address of the Teutonic Order is at Singerstrasse 7.

No. 5 To the green Raith board
The late classicist rental house was built in 1819 over an older core. The facade is simply divided by cordon and ledge cornices. Inside there is a spiral two-post staircase with the original railing. The roof truss is also partially original. In the barrel-vaulted cellar, stone walls are partially visible.

No. 7 and 9 Large and Small Ensign Court
The buildings, known as the Large and Small Ensign Court, are part of a building complex that dates back to the Middle Ages and included the houses at Blutgasse 5, 7 and 9 and Singerstrasse 11. According to unauthorized reports, the Templars are said to have owned a courtyard here. In any case, the houses were owned by the adjacent Cistercian monastery of St. Nikolai and were separated in 1534/35, divided into parcels of land and rented out. One of the four civic companies, namely that of the Carinthian district, gathered here with its flag. A mural of a midshipman mentioned in 1566 gave the houses their name. In 1684, the bookbinder and external councilor Johann Konrad Ludwig bought the spacious building. 1702-1703 was rebuilt by the neighboring Klarissen. The houses got their current shape in 1819, with 7 houses now surrounding a large courtyard. The humanist Johannes Cuspinian and the composer Wenzel Müller lived here.

 

No. 7 is called the Großer Fähnrichshof. It is one of the rare high medieval town houses from Vienna from the 1st half of the 13th century. 1559–1563 an increase was made and a courtyard-side spiral staircase and the hallway were built. After 1664 the basement was built, 1675-1679 another extension and a new facade was undertaken, which is still preserved on the courtyard side. In 1743 the street facade was redone and additional basements were added. The street facade has contracted window axes on the upper floor. The stair tower shows slanted windows. In a room on the ground floor you can see the rare example of rising masonry from the 1st half of the 13th century.

No. 9 is called Kleiner Fähnrichshof and is on the corner of Singerstrasse. The core dates back to the 16th century and was a Renaissance town house. Today's facade is baroque and dates from the 1st quarter of the 18th century. A central bay lies on Singerstrasse. On the upper floor, vertically contracted window axes can be seen through plaster fields. The baroque wooden door in a shoulder arch portal has partly original fittings.