36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 056: Viennese house hunting


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.


Looking for a room—none around. Extremely hard.

Housing is a real problem. Not enough. Same problem everywhere. There is some housing but [it’s] far out. The housing that is available is much different than we’re used to. Usually small, kitchen, bath (if available) are small and together. Hot water is not always available. Heating is a separate unit, usually coal or oil stove. All in all—no luxuries, but (I hope) liveable. Rooms are rented out by apartments ([by house] ladies; your room is part of her bigger apartment), and thus are shared with them.

Student dorms, however, are very nice and very modern.

Frustrating day with horn.
Went to opera at night. R. Strauss. Pretty enjoyable. Ariadne auf Naxos [Adriana of Naxos].


Vienna house hunting 01
Apartment hunting. As mentioned in the summary, house hunting and apartment hunting are never easy, whether back in 1971 or today. Vienna is a major cosmopolitan city and, as in all such cities, living space is at a premium and generally very expensive.

Vienna housing. I didn’t write anything negative about the quality of the housing I was seeing. The nature of real estate is that the good stuff is always out of the reach of students, the regular stuff is normally fine, and there are plenty of not-as-desirable places to be had. Again, none of the housing I saw was remotely bad, just surprising.

House notes. Here are some things I ran into: (1) individual heating units for heating rooms (not central heating); (2) coal was still used in some units; (That’s a bit much. Oil is fine.) (3) apartments were often studio, everything was all together—bath, kitchen, bedroom; (4) bathrooms were often shared; (5) no hot water occasionally? Perhaps, you had to heat up water and place it in a pan? (6) you often lived in the same apartment as the landlord.

All of this surprised me a bit, but as I am always learning throughout life, expect anything (even coal).

A lady that often rented rooms was called a “hausfrau.”

Strauss opera. The opera at night is Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. Strauss is a late-romantic composer who liked to challenge horn players. His most famous work to most people is Also sprach Zarathustra, also recognized as the opening to the film 2001: Space Odessey.

Here is a Wikipedia on
Richard Strauss.


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