A problem zone due to flooding, the Wien River needed regulating in the late 19th century. At the same time, Otto Wagner had visions of turning the area between Karlsplatz and Schönbrunn into a magnificent boulevard. The vision blurred and the reality is a gushing, concrete-bottomed creek and a couple of attractive Wagner houses on the Linke Wienzeile.
Majolika-Haus at No 40 (1899) is the prettiest as it’s completely covered in glazed ceramic to create flowing floral motifs on the facade. The second of these Jugendstil masterpieces is a corner house at No 38, with reliefs from Kolo Moser and shapely bronze figures from Othmar Schimkowitz. Nearby is a third house, simpler than these, at Köstlergasse 3 and, finally, you can put Wagner’s functionality to the test by descending into his Kettenbrückengasse U-Bahn station.