Karl-Marx-Hof – one of the most famous council houses in Vienna

The city within the city that is a textbook example of social housing

Built according to plans by master builder and student of Otto Wagner, Karl Ehn, and officially accomplished in 1930, the Karl-Marx-Hof is the longest continuous building in the world. Around 5,000 inhabitants live in the over 1,300 apartments there. The building runs 1.2 kilometres along four tram stops, which also makes it virtually impossible for visitors to miss the right stop.

karl-marx-hof building main front wall view
karl-marx-hof building © graphia76 /

Rethinking council housing

The manor is a textbook example of social housing in its time. In addition to the rental apartments, there were also many community instituttions. From pools, a nursery school, and a library to a dentist’s, post office, coffeehouses, and business premises, numerous options for daily requirements were created. Many of these institutions no longer exist today.

The purely brick building was built in Art déco style and its central wing with its six towers, the high passageways, and the massive flagpoles, is particularly impressive. 80% of the 150,000m² area also known as the “city within the city” is used as play areas and gardens.

landmark karl-marx-hof building
Statue bei Karl-Marx-Hof © jewhyte /

Karl-Marx-Hof – Centre of resistance

IN 1934, the Karl-Marx-Hof was the centre of the resistance against fascism. Today, a plaque in Boschstraße reminds readers that the Austrian workers were the first to stand up against fascism.

In the launderette at Halteraugasse 7, a permanent exhibition deals with the history of Red Vienna and its social housing from 1919 to 1934. There are also constantly new special exhibits on this subject.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the building underwent general renovation involving the inhabitants.

How to reach the council house

Address: Heiligenstädter Str. 82, 1190 Vienna
Public transport: Station: Wien Heiligenstadt or underground line U4, stop: Heiligenstadt Bf

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