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Liesing

A introduction of the 23rd district of Vienna

On this site we want to introduce Liesing, the 23rd district of Vienna, and its historic background.
We did research on the internet and in books. We also visited the “Bezirksmuseum Liesing” (museum of local history) and Mr Stony told us many interesting facts and stories. There were many interesting objects from the past and we also saw many old pictures.

Information and pictures were taken from:

  • Lecture by Max Stony in: Bezirksmuseum Liesing, Canavesegasse 24, 1230 Wien
  • Liesing. Wiener Bezirkshandbücher. 23. Bezirk. (2002). Wien: Pichler Verlag.
  • Roskonsky, Josef (1979). Liesing. Ein junger Bezirk mit Vergangenheit. Wien: Mohl Verlag.
  • Spitzer, Rudolf (1994). Liesing. Altes erhalten. Neues gestalten. Wien: Mohl Verlag.
  • Text about Liesing and pictures provided by BV Wurm
  • Internet

Liesing – the 23rd district

Liesing is the 23rd district in Vienna and it is in the south-west of the city. It borders to Lower Austria, the tenth district (Favoriten), the twelfth district (Meidling) and the thirtheenth district (Hietzing). The small stream Liesing runs through the district.

Liesing is the fifth biggest district in Vienna (32,03 km2, 1/3 is grassland). On 1st October 1938 Vienna became “Groß Wien” (then there were 26 districts). Liesing was the 25th one.

After the WW II Liesing Liesing became the 23rd district in 1954. It includes the former villages: Atzgersdorf, Erlaa, Kalksburg, Inzersdorf, Liesing, Mauer, Rodaun and Siebenhirten.

In 1951 36,947 people lived in Liesing. In 1981 72,367 people and in 2001 84,718 people lived in Liesing. 53% are women. Liesing is one of the sparsely populated districts in Vienna.

Approximately 4,000 small and medium sized enterprises are located in the 23rd district today. There are jobs for more than 40,000 people altogether.

The Liesing valley and the foothills of the Vienna Woods are a wonderful place for recreation for local residents and tourists.  Many different grapes are grown on the hills of the Vienna Woods and are pressed into excellent wines. You can enjoy the wine together with typical Austrian food in vintners’ cottages or “Heurigen” as they are called locally!

The 23rd district has become a prospering business location with a high standard of living. All of the eight villages have kept their own identity.

Liesing

In 2002 the district celebrated “1,000 years Liesing”.

In the first Turkish siege in 1529 Liesing was burnt down and most of the people were killed.
The Second Turkish Siege was in 1683.
The Thirty Years’ War didn’t have many effects south of the Danube.

Up to the 19th century the people in Liesing mainly lived from farming.
In the 19th century industrialization started. In 1838 the brewery was built. It’s not in use anymore.

The coats of arms was invented in 1906 and it remembers the Turkish Siege.
Liesing is the heart of the 23rd district.

Inzersdorf

Around 1200 Inzersdorf was first mentioned as “Eancinsdorf”. The Triester Bundesstraße was called Newstätter Weg in 1357. Inzersdorf already was next to a main road 2,000 years ago.
In 1529 and in 1683 Inzersdorf was completely destroyed.
Maria Katharina von Aichen had to bring foreign settlers to the destroyed village 12 years later.

In the 18th century Inzersdorf became a “workers’ village”. because of the brick factories. The brick industry got bigger and bigger. In the brick factories 100 million bricks were produced in 1872. In 1848 it were only 16 million bricks.

Count Heinrich Drasche owned brick factories. He also had a palace but it was destroyed in WWII. The street in which our school is located was named after Count Drasche.

Erlaa

Erlaa was first put on record as “de Erila” in 1114. In 1831 there were 31 houses in Erlaa. Sixty-three families lived there, 267 men, 137 women, 61 kids, 16 horses, 2 oxen and 89 cows.
In 1835 two new village parts were formed: Alt – and Neu Erlaa.

Today Alt-Erlaa is famous for its architecture (e.g. Wohnpark Alt-Erlaa with over 3,000 flats).

Palace Erlaa
Georg Adam Lord Starhemberg had the Palace Erlaa built between 1766-70. The palace was very wonderful. Several temples were in the marvellous palace garden. Today you can only guess how spectacular the former palace must have been.

Atzgersdorf

Atzgersdorf is situated on both sides of the Liesing. The village was a Roman resting place on the way from Vindobona to Aque (Bade).

The church on today’s Kirchenplatz already existed around 1300. It was finished in 1783.

Along the Lainzer Weg there was the “Fever or Turks’ Cross”: In 1683 it was destroyed. The farmer Hans Strobel collected the wood and re-built the cross after the Truks had left Vienna. Many pilgrims came to the Holy Cross of Atzgersdorf to pray for turning away fever.

Om 1830 there was already a lot of industry in Atzgersdorf, e.g. printing works, lacquer factories or machine factories.

Siebenhirten

Siebenhirten was known as “Subinhere”, which belonged to the feudal lord Heinrich Siebenhirti. Few people lived there, e.g. in 1831 only 304 people lived in 35 houses in Siebenhirten.

During the industrialization the population got bigger. There were many new jobs.

In 1910 Siebenhirten had 4,100 inhabitants. The industry settled next to the main roads and the railway.

Mauer

The name of the village probably comes from the remains of the walls of a Roman fort.

The people in Mauer lived from farming, cattle breeding and wine growing.

Mauer is known as a quiet, elegant village. There’s hardly any industry and few workplaces. It’s a residential area.

In 1529 Mauer was destroyed by the Turks. In 1679 the plaque raged in Mauer and in 1683 there was second devastation by the Turks. In 1859, during the war with Italy, the two former castles were turned into hospitals.

In 1954 Mauer became part of the 23rd district.

The Wotruba Church

At the top of the “Georgenberg” you’ve got a splendid view over the Viennese basin. The famous sculptor Prof. Fritz Wotruba built the church out of 152 concrete blocks. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the completion of his work.

Rodaun

The name “Rodaun” might come from the Slavic word “Radonia”, which is a woman’s name. The first settlers in that area were Slavs.

Rodaun was a place for summer holidays for the Viennese people in the last century.
One of the first public means of transport went to Rodaun.
In Rodaun there was one of the first and most exclusive outdoor pools.

Chronicle fast forward:

In 1165 Rodaun was first mentioned in the official yearbooks.
In 1549 Rodaun was honoured for producing foods.
In 1561 Rodaun appeared on a map for the first time.
In 1679 the plaque raged there.
In 1787 the area was invaded by grasshoppers.
In 1849 a wild storm was racing across the village for three days.
In 1898 Rodaun’s people got a gas lighting system.
In 1929/30 the cement factories were made bigger. Many people found jobs there.

Kalksburg

Kalksburg is part of the 23rd district in Vienna. It is situated in the “Liesingbachtal”, at the edge of the southern “Wienerwald” (Vienna Woods).

The name “Kalksburg” (Kalk = quicklime, Burg = castle) hasn’t got anything to do with quicklime, although some time ago quicklime was made there. Kalksburg was built as a fortress to protect the streets in the “Liesingtal” (Liesing valley).

The college Kalksburg is a sight. The seminary was founded by the Jesuits in 1856. Back then it was known as “the Oxford of the old monarchy”. In the last century it was an elitist school for boys. Now it is a private school for boys and girls.

The church St. Peter in Kalksburg is 200 years old. The Lord of the village Kalksburg, Franz von Mack, had the old church taken down and the new church built.

The coats of arms of the family Mack is above the church’s gate. You’ll also find a monument to the builder of the church.

The Liesing

The beginning

The first known inhabitants in Liesing were Slavs. Liesing means “forest brook” or “little river in the forest” (Lesencia = old Slavic).

The Liesing starts flowing in Hochrotherd (in the west of Vienna) and finally gets into the Schwechat.

The Reiche Liesing and the Dürre Liesing are together the 30.5 km long Liesing.

A raging river

Before its regulation the Liesing was a wild river which caused much damage. The Hochwassergasse (= “Flood Street”) reminds at the pitiless Liesing.

The taming

Thaw and heavy rain made the Liesing a raging river. One tried to regulate it. But without success. A second try was made in 1947. Then with success.

With the time the people learned to use the Liesing. It runs through many villages and people built mills along the river.

Today the Liesing is a recreation area, which we like and often use.

Coat of arms of Liesing

The coat of arms of Liesing is divided into eight sections (“villages”).

In the middle there is the coat of arms of Liesing. It is blue and you can see a silver pike. In the left corner there is a vintager’s basket and in the right one there is a cogwheel. Under the pike there is a hazelnut twig with three leaves and four nuts, a blazing fire and the year 1683.

In the left shield at the top, which is blue, you can see a brick layer in an old-fashioned traditional costume behind a red brick. That’s the village Mauer.

In the right shield at the top, also in blue, there is a red castle wall with a big gate and a portcullis. That is the village Kalksburg.

In the shield in the middle you can see three ears growing out of a red heart. There is a golden lion and a golden horse at its sides. Under the heart you can see two crossed scythes. That is Inzersdorf.

In the middle left in silver there is a shepherd with a white sheep on a green meadow in front of a golden 7. That is Siebenhirten.

On the right there is the holy Katharina with a palm twig and a sword. That is Atzgersdorf.

In the left bottom corner there is an alder leaf on blue background. That is Erlaa.

On the right there is a castle with a church on a green hill. That’s Rodaun.

The “brick baron” and the “brick Bohemians”

The Romans were the first who made bricks there. They had learned it in the Far East. The Romans started to build their houses and watch-towers with bricks.

On the “Wienerberg” big clay areas were found. The Romans made bricks for water systems, roofs and canals.

The Viennese used the clay near the “Wienfluss” (River Wien) and put up their kilns there.

The living standards under the “brick baron” Count Drasche were very bad. Up to 50 people had to sleep in one room. Many people died. Many people from Bohemia worked in the brick factories, that’s why they were called “brick Bohemians”. The working conditions were very bad and they got metal as a salary.

Sagas and legends

The hazelnut tree in the Liesing coats of arms

In 1683 Liesing was attacked and burned down by the Turks. The trees of the palace of Liesing were cut down. Only one Turkish hazelnut tree was left. The people who survived were surprised. They said: The Turks left this tree in memory of their home country. When Liesing was declared a city in 1905, it got a coats of arms in which you can see hazelnut twigs and the year 1683.

The Devil’s mill at the “Wienerberg”

There was an old mill in Triester Straße, (at the junction with Ketzergasse, between Inzersdorf and Wiener Neudorf). The people told spooky stories about killings and robberies in that mill. Even the devil should have lived there. That’s why the mill is called the Devil’s Mill.

Hollywood in Mauer

When: In 1919 the film studios on Rosenhügel in Mauer were founded.

Who: Gustav Anton Kolm and his wife Louise founded the studios.

Films: 1921: “Der tote Hochzeitsgast” (The dead wedding guest) based on  Heinrich Heines “Don Ramires”, 1922: Sodom und Gomorrha, 1923:  Hotel Potemkin, 1934:  Maskerade  etc.

The ORF (the official Austrian broadcast company) owns the Rosenhügel-Studios today and produces many series and shows there.

Living and working in Inzersdorf – interviews

We interviewed some people. They evaluated the living quality as “good”, the shopping facilities as “good” too. The public transport and the traffic connections were evaluated as “not sufficient”. There are not many jobs.

We asked the following people.

Shopkeeper: She has been living for 29 years in Inzersdorf. Many shops closed along Draschestraße and in the area around it. There should be more recreation areas for children.

Waiter:  He also thinks that there are not enough recreation areas. Many lorries drive through Draschestraße.

Florist: There’s too much traffic.

Pensioner: She has been living in Inzersdorf since her childhood and she also went to primary school here. She thinks that Inzersdorf has lost its atmosphere.

Primary school headmaster: There’s too much traffic. There were two car accidents with two seriously injured children. The Draschepark is the only recreation area for children and for so many kids it is not enough.

Teacher: The infrastructure is average.