Having focused most of our energy in the city center in recent months, be it for the Easter Markets, the Courtyards, or the Donaukanal photo walks, it was decided that the first summer photo walk of 2016 would take place a bit further out: the Türkenschanzpark in the green, historic 18th district of Vienna.
For the first time since VPW was founded, the idea for the walk and its route came not from the organizers of the group, but from a member of the club. Heinz, a loyal member and two-time-winner of the VPW photo competition, suggested the Türkenschanzpark because it was something new for almost everyone in the group (including yours truly), and because he knew it would be lovely this time of year.
The Türkenschanzpark on the outskirts of Vienna is a park that is important both in botanical terms and because of its layout. This park is also one of the earliest examples of public/private partnership in Vienna: Türkenschanzpark was built by local citizens together with the neighbouring “Wiener Cottage” settlement and was only later taken over by the city. In 1883 a committee was established to oversee the “establishment of a public park on Türkenschanze”. The park was built between 1885 and 1888 under the supervision of city gardener Gustav Sennholz (1850 to 1895). Emperor Franz Joseph I gave the address at the festivities marking the park’s opening on 30 September 1888.
The park’s name comes from the designation for the area derived from the historical Turkish entrenchments found at the site. After 1892 the park was managed and extensively remodelled by the City of Vienna. At this time the pond was added, and from 1905 to 1909 the park was significantly expanded with the project led by director of urban planning Heinrich Goldemund and municipal garden director Wenzel Hybler. The attractive park railings also date back to this period.
Today a suburb boundary goes through the park. Türkenschanzpark is known for its interesting, rare botanical plants, which are extremely picturesque features in the undulating landscape. The unusual makeup of the landscape is another of the park’s appealing features. Hills are interspersed with meadows, and meandering paths invite the visitor to take a stroll.
For reasons of safety, the historical water tower “Paulinenwarte” was renovated and has been open to the public since July 2010.
Heinz and I planned the photo walk around the 18th of June because it would be one of the rare days when the previously mentioned “Paulinenwarte” water tower would be open and accessible to the public. At an entry fee of 0.60 EUR we’d be able to climb the tower and see the view from up above. Unfortunately (this might be useful for anyone hoping to take pictures here), while the view is good, the entire tower is covered in a net, which makes taking pictures impossible. But we enjoyed climbing the tower nonetheless, and were happy giving our small donations to the local community.