Am Donaupark
1220 Donaustadt


Pages: 28 + cover
Edition: 5 + artists copy (first edition)


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Am Donaupark (Kaisermühlen), named in 2003 after the Donaupark, a park measuring around 632,966 m².

The Kagran firing range existed here between 1871 and 1945 for military target practice. During the Nazi era it was also used for numerous executions. Every year around October 27th a memorial event for those murdered takes place.

From 1880 to 1964, large parts of the area of today’s Donaupark were used as a garbage dump. In 1923, garbage disposal was reorganized by the city administration. The rubbish was transferred to the Bruck Present waste railway on a ramp, which distributed it over a circular route on the Bruck pile. The landfill repeatedly reached the limits of its capacity and had to be enlarged. In April 1958, Mayor Franz Jonas informed the population that the city would switch from landfilling to incineration. The Flötzersteig waste incineration plant was inaugurated in 1962, but rubbish was still dumped on the Bruck pile until 1964.

On April 16, 1964, the Donaupark was opened together with the Danube Tower on the occasion of the Vienna International Garden Show (WIG 64). The Donauparkhalle was also built. A chairlift and a narrow-gauge railway, which operated until the 1980s, were used to transport exhibition visitors. A lakeside stage was also created and there was a separate cinema. The high-rise buildings, especially the lakeside restaurant (today’s Korea Kulturhaus Vienna) were planned by Kurt Schlauss.

In 1983, on the occasion of Catholic Day, Pope John Paul II celebrated a holy mass on a 20-hectare part of the Danube Park, later known as the Pope’s Meadow, in which around 300,000 believers took part. For this purpose, the so-called Pope’s Cross was erected, which remained as a temporary measure and was renovated in 2011.

The only superficial renovation of the former landfill led to problems during the garden show: landfill gas leaked in some places, some wells were contaminated and had to be shut down. In 1990, the Donaupark-Bruckdecken area was classified as a priority 2 contaminated site. In the course of the construction of Donau City, the urgently needed renovation of the areas of the former landfill was carried out. A system of barrier wells built in 1993 prevents polluted groundwater from seeping into the Old Danube.

In 1993, the iris lake, which was surrounded by an old stand of silver poplars, was renatured. The extracted and oxygen-enriched groundwater now flows through it. Rushes, sedges, cattails, swan flowers and other plants form a type of biological sewage treatment plant. The clarified water is finally discharged into the Danube.

With the Donauparkbahn, a park railway with a 381 millimeter gauge, you can take a 3.3 kilometer long tour through the park. Concerts with free admission are offered on the Donaupark stage in the summer months, organized by the Donaustadt cultural association.

I visited Am Donaupark on April 21st 2023, the first real warm day of the year. It's not possible to walk the whole street as part of it is an expressway and I am not keen on getting arrested (or dying for that matter). I took the mini railway through Donaupark and ate an icecream as part of a reward for having motivated myself to go out. Donaupark is such a fun place to visit!