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(September 20-24, 2006)

Carsten T. Rees


Thomas Rauscher

Hochstrahlbrunnen - Erste Wiener Hochquellenwasserleitung

Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna, Austria

2006-09-24, 20:30 CEST (18:30 UTC)

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© 2006 Thomas Rauscher, All Rights Reserved.

One of the challenges within big cities is the transportation of fresh, clean water to the households.

Water system in Vienna

During the Roman Empire, Vienna already had several kilometers of water conduits but after the fall of the empire water was gained again from wells near the houses.

After the great fire in the year 1525 the first plans where made for a new water system mostly to support the fire fighters. In 1562, the first water conduit was created to the Hofburg. During the following years more and more conduits where added. Between the years 1835 and 1841, a water pipe system for the entire city was constructed. The water was obtained from the nearby Danube river. Very soon this source was not enough and in 1870 the work on the Erste Wiener Hochquellenwasserleitung (First Viennese high mountain spring water conduit) began. The conduit is a 120 km long bricked canal from the mountains Rax and Schneeberg. Because of the natural descent no pumps are needed. The water takes 16h for this trip and has an overall decent of 267 m.

On October 23th, 1873, during the World exposition emperor Franz Joseph I opened europa's biggest water conduit at that time. On this occasion the Hochstrahlbrunnen (=High beam fountain) was put into operation. (This is the fountain in the panorama). In the year 1906 a light system was installed and since then the fountain is illuminated in 3 different colors.

Today Vienna still gets its water from this conduit plus a second high mountain spring water conduit built in 1910 with a total length of 200km. Additionally one deep well for exceptional high demands was added in 1966 and since 2005 the Vienna water system also has access to ground water lakes in the Mitterndorfer Senke.

The rest of the Panorama

Fortunately (for this theme of the Worldwide Panormama Event) the Schwarzenbergplatz is also a major traffic junction. Several streets and streetcar lines meet here. The illuminated building to the right of the fountain is the French embassy and in the opposite direction is the home of the Austrian industrial association. This building was also the former home of the allied commission after World War II.


Bezirksmuseum Landstrasse (German, but nice image of an old paining from the fountain)
Wikipedia - Wiener Wasserversorgung (German)
Wikipedia - Hochstrahlbrunnen (German)
Hardware: D70s, Nikkor ED-DX 18-70mm, selfmade pano head
Software: PTGui, PanoTools, Gimp, Pano2QTVR pro

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