Vienna’s Nooks and Crannies

Perhaps the best part of old European cities is the inevitable maze of narrow, cobbled-stoned alleyways. Vienna has its share of these pedestrian-only and circuitous streets; it’s almost impossible not to find them as they veer off of most main streets, but it is easy not to see them as they’re less visually imposing than the barrage of souvenir stands, cafés, and Gothic churches.

Of course I have few pictures of these alleys because I usually found them while en route to another place. They’re nice surprises, but not the places you planned to go or think of having been. It always starts out the same: you’ll be walking along, and notice a slight opening in the wall of adjoined buildings, but what you find there varies widely. Maybe it’s a residential entrance, a small courtyard, or a a dead end, but what I found most often were dark restaurants and small, old businesses specializing in some trade (in the photo at the top of the post is a custom clothier).

Because I was travelling on a long holiday weekend, many businesses were shuttered, but even the gates and shutters are beautiful. I took the photo on the left because of the detail in the metal. The door on the right is also in one such alley but under an archway over the sidewalk. On the mailbox is the post horn, the symbol of both the Deutsche and Österreichische Posts.

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