Pinsteps. The house on Judenplatz
Places to visit in Vienna. Languages: ru, he, en

This house on Judenplatz was built in the late 15th to early 16th centuries. It features a relief depicting the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. The inscription below reads: "The waters of the Jordan wash away the filth and evil from the body. Everything hidden and sinful disappears." The presence of this relief is not coincidental. The most dreadful period in the medieval history of Vienna's Jewish community occurred in 1421, known as the Viennese Gesera. In May 1420, by order of Duke Albert V, Jews across Austria, including Vienna, were arrested. They were given the choice to either convert to Christianity or leave Austria. Jewish children under the age of 15 were forcibly baptized. By the beginning of 1421, the majority of Jews were expelled from Vienna. Members of wealthy families were subjected to coercion to convert. On March 12, 1421, Duke Albert issued a new decree condemning the remaining Jews in Vienna to death. On the same day, 92 Jewish men and 120 Jewish women were burned at the stake on the Gesin Field. Baptism is a fundamental element of Christianity. This relief has been a constant reminder to Jews for five centuries of the decision they were compelled to make – to convert. It stands at the very heart of the Jewish quarter.

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Evgeny Praisman
Vienna. The Ringstrasse.

A leisurely stroll through the historic part of the city unfolds a tapestry of enchanting landmarks. The city park, adorned with the melodies of Strauss and Schubert, leads to the venerable city gates named after Luger and Mozart. The narrative of "Ah, My Sweet Augustine" echoes through time, while the oldest church in the city stands as a testament to bygone eras. The tales of Theodor Herzl, the anchor clocks, the Jewish quarter, the square where it all began, the longest narrow alley, the Estergazi restaurant, and Andersen's house weave together seamlessly.

Wander down Graben Street, passing by the plague column and fountains, where the stories of homes, people, words, legends, and traditions blend harmoniously. Amidst it all, relish the charm of restaurants, cafes, wines, and coziness that add an extra layer of warmth to this rich tapestry of history and culture.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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