The city park and the most photographed monument in Vienna
How long has the monument to the King of the Waltz been in Vienna’s Stadtpark? Why was Johann Strauss’ son also called a “womanizer”? Where did he often and gladly give concerts? Which is probably his most famous work?
The city park is located along the ring road and was opened as the first public park in 1862 . It is considered the park with the most monuments in Vienna. The highlight is the golden monument of Johann Strauss son . Everyone knows the famous Danube Waltz, the “secret anthem of Austria”. At the dedication of the statue in 1921, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra played the waltz
“On the beautiful blue Danube,” as it is properly called.
Johann Strauss son was called the “Waltz King” because of the large number of waltzes he composed. He also liked to give concerts in the city park, namely in the adjacent building – in the Kursalon Hübner . The Kursalon has remained a concert venue to this day. Johann Strauss’ son was constantly in love and the world of women was at his feet. The ladies were enchanted by his melodies, looks and charm.
His first wife was Henriette Treffz-Chalupetzky, whom he met in the house of the banker Moritz Ritter von Todesco. Henriette was the banker’s mistress, which is why she was also called “Baroness Todesco“.
Before her marriage to Johann Strauss, she already had seven illegitimate children, with Johann she had no more. She was seven years older than Johann and, at her wedding on August 27, 1862, in St. Stephen’s Church in Vienna, was already 44 years old.
The couple lived at Praterstraße 54, where the Danube Waltz was composed and where today there is a museum worth seeing . Jetty, as Henriette was known for short, was a motherly wife and perfect manager, taking everyday worries off her husband’s hands.
The marriage ended after 16 years when Jetty succumbed to a stroke on April 8, 1878, leaving Johann a widower. Her great merit was to have led her husband from a waltz king to an operetta composer.
His grief did not last too long, because just 50 days later Johann was married a second time. The lucky girl was 25 years younger and her name was Ernestine Henriette Angelica Dittrich, called “Lili”.
The two had known each other for some time without his first wife knowing about the “relationship.” Lili contacted Johann to get an engagement at the Theater an der Wien, but instead they got married. This took place on May 28, 1878 in the Karlskirche in Vienna.
The couple moved into the newly built palace at Igelgasse 4, now Johann-Strauß-Gasse in the 4th district. The marriage was considered unhappy from the beginning, because there was little understanding and constant quarrels. This time the woman, that is Lili, should have a relationship on the side. After four years together, a line was drawn on December 9, 1882, and the marriage was divorced by mutual consent.
The third wife – Adele Deutsch, widowed Strauß – already bore Johann’s last name, although she was not even married to him. Her late husband was the banker’s son Anton
Strauss, a coincidental similarity of names. Johann wanted to marry Adele, but was unable to do so after
Catholic law, since he was already divorced.
The problem was solved in such a way that Johann became a Saxon citizen and converted to the Protestant faith . On August 15, 1887, the two were married in the Ducal Court Church in Coburg . Johann was 62 and his bride half that age, i.e. 31 years young.
Adele managed her husband’s estate adm irably until after his death in 1899. She left behind the “Lex Johann Strauss”, an extension of the copyright of his music to 32 years . Despite three marriages, Johann left no children.
Time Travel Tip:
In summer it is especially nice to stroll through the city park with all its statues. They are mainly composers (Strauss, Schubert, Bruckner, Lehár), painters (Makart, Amerling) or mayor Zelinka. Under his tenure, the city park was opened. If you want to see Beethoven , walk 10 minutes to Beethovenplatz across from the Konzerthaus/Vienna Ice Skating Club. For Mozart it goes on to the Burggarten ringstrasse side.
Vienna City Park