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Leopold III., Habsburger, * 1351 - Lerchenfeld (19/25)
Leopoldskron Leopoldstädter Theater

Leopoldstadt


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Coat of arms of Vienna´s 2nd district, Leopoldstadt.



Leopoldstadt, 2nd district of Vienna, area 19.27 km2, pop. 93,542 (1991), former floodplain on the island between the Danube and the Danube canal, formed by the settlement "Unterer Werd" (first documented mention 1337) on islands of the unregulated river; since 1862 part of Vienna; the district was given its present form when the Danube was regulated in 1870; until 1900 it also comprised Brigittenau (since then 20th district) and until 1938 Kaisermühlen (since then part of the 22nd district).

Leopoldstadt was originally part of the parishes of St. Stephan and Leopoldau, and only became a separate parish in 1670/71. The district was severely damaged by the Turks (1529, 1683) and during World War II (1945). In 1625 Ferdinand II allowed theJews to settle on a treeless heath (ghetto) which formerly belonged to Bürgerspital hospital; after the Jews had been expelled in 1669 under Leopold I, the city took possession of the area, which was later called Leopoldstadt. In 1766 Joseph II gave the Praterand in 1775 the Augarten to the public, and Leopoldstadt became densely populated. The Praterstraße, built in 1570 as "Jägerzeile" under Maximilian I, was one of the most splendid streets of Vienna during the Biedermeier period. Until 1918 high percentage of Czech population (1890: 8.9 %), until 1938 high percentage of Jewish population (1923: 38.5 %); according to census of 1991 third highest percentage of non-Austrian citizens (19.6 %) after the 15th and the 5th districts.

Churches: Leopoldskirche (1670-1671, replacing a synagogue, rebuilt in 1724); Johann-Nepomuk Kirche, 1846 (high altar painting by L. Kupelwieser, mural depicting the Stations of the Cross by J. Führich); church (since 1622), monastery and hospital (started in 1614, repeatedly enlarged until 1838) and new hospital (1883-1885, extended several times) of the Hospitallers (Barmherzige Brüder); Carmelite church (built in 1624, enlarged between 1630-1639, monastery buildings were pulled down 1904-1906) with altar-panel by M. J. Schmidt (1771); St. Francis of Assisi church (1898-1913). - Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten china factory; Tegetthoff monument (1886, architecture by C. Hasenauer and sculpture by C. Kundmann) at the Praterstern (important intersection of streets, subway and tram lines), "Schützenhaus der Staustuf Kaiserbad", a lock-house by Otto Wagner (1908); Prater recreation ground and amusement park: premises of the Vienna trade fair at the Rotunde; Ernst-Happel Stadium (1930, repeatedly enlarged) and Ferry-Dusika velodrome; Stadionbad public baths; university atomic research reactor; Association of Austrian Adult Education Institutes; racecourses and sports grounds (Freudenau race course and golf course, Krieau trotting course etc.), freight railway stations at Praterstern and Donauuferbahnhof; Vienna shipping centre; winter harbour; Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Vienna hotel, Donau Business Centre; headquarters of pension insurance agency for employees; Albrecht and Wilhelm barracks; council housing estates of the 1960s and 1980s (Vorgartenstraße, Engerthstraße: E-Werksgründe, Siemensgründe, Elektraplatz). Office buildings: Bundesländer insurance agency; OPEC building; Raiffeisenhaus; Dianazentrum (built in 1969-1974, renovation started 1998); IBM central headquarters (1992); Bank Austria administration offices (1994). Power plant on the Danube at Wien-Freudenau (1992, output 98.172 MW).


Literature: 100 Jahre Leopoldstadt, festschrift, 1962; R. Messner, Die Leopoldstadt im Vormärz, 1963; F. Czeike, Leopoldstadt, Wiener Bezirkskulturführer; 1980; idem, Historisches Lexikon Wien, 5 vols., 1992-1997; W. Hanak and M. Widrich (eds.), Wien II. Leopoldsstadt, 1999.


 
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