We thoroughly enjoyed the Vienna Blood period detective drama, based on the superb books by Frank Tallis. Not only is this brilliant TV series set in Vienna, but they filmed a lot of Season 1 and Seasons 2’s episodes here (and parts of Season 3).
Since we live locally, we did investigative work of our own and tracked down as many Vienna Blood film locations as possible (with help from friends and family).
This article covers Season 1 and recurring locations. See here for Season 2. And here for Season 3.
- See also:
The series is a production of MR FILM and Endor Productions, and coproduced with ORF, ZDF, and Red Arrow Studios. This map has the local locations we found so far for both seasons:
Where was Vienna Blood filmed?
(Warning: may contain minor spoilers. Note that episodes are numbered as shown in Austria: one for each case. So Episode 2 here might be Episodes 3-4 in the USA, for example)
Let us begin with some of the locations that repeat across the episodes.
Before we do, just a note that we simply matched what we saw on the screen to our local knowledge of Vienna. So most of the places we recognized obviously feature in outdoor scenes.
Here goes…(no guarantees on accuracy for everything!)
The police station
(A university archive and occasional early 1900s police station)
Took a while to find this, but the building used for exterior shots of the police station where Inspector Reinhardt works is the former library of Vienna University.
Constructed in the late 18th century, the building now houses the Vienna University Archive, an austere institution that itself dates back to the middle ages.
In season two (and maybe three?), the Billrothhaus in Vienna’s 9th district served as the interior of the police station and its archive. This was built in 1893 by and for the College of Physicians in Vienna, and they still have their headquarters inside. (Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for spotting that!)
The Liebermann home
When Max Liebermann returns or leaves home, he uses the entrance you can see on the right of the photo above, with a wall and gate behind. The house sits on Landstraße Hauptstraße.
A kind reader tells me this is the 1902 Villa Mautner-Jaeger built for Hertha Mauthner von Markhof, who belonged to one of Vienna’s great entrepreneurial families.
After a period of neglect, the unoccupied house was due to undergo renovation at the time of writing.
(Herz Jesu church)
When the camera switches perspective to show Max leaving the premises through the large wrought iron gate (in Episode 2, for example), the portal and windows of a church appear in the background. This is the 1906 Herz Jesu church on the other side of the Landstraße Hauptstraße road.
At least some of the exterior shots of the hospital where Max works show the Otto Wagner Hospital (now known as Klinik Penzing), named for the famous architect.
The location is remarkably authentic, since they built this institution as a psychiatric hospital in the first decade of the 20th century. In the raised views, the golden dome of the Kirche am Steinhof church appears in the background.
The Natural History Museum
(View from Maria-Theresien-Platz)
Amelia Lydgate works in Vienna’s Naturhistorisches Museum.
We see various shots of the museum’s front (if you look closely at the long-distance TV shots of the entrance steps, you can see the bronze elephant statue they put up in 2004).
Various interior scenes must have been filmed in the museum, too, such as the stuffed mammal displays that Max views in Episode 2.
The museum also features heavily in the final episode of Season 2.
The Ferris Wheel
(A famous Vienna landmark)
Built at the end of the 19th century, the famous Riesenrad features as an obvious highlight in the opening credits to Vienna Blood.
This grand old Ferris wheel also serves as a key location in the denouement to Episode 1, when Max and the inspector confront their adversary.
That end scene also includes the carousel and square directly next to the Riesenrad.
The location is no stranger to filming, having played important roles in such renowned movies as The Third Man and Before Sunrise.
(The mosaic roof replaced the one damaged in the aftermath of WWII)
The cityscape in the opening credits to each TV epsiode and various long shots over Vienna feature the iconic patterned roof and towers of St Stephen’s Cathedral. This gothic cathedral dominates the city centre.
Now, moving on to specific scenes from individual episodes in Season 1…
Episode 1 locations
The opening scenes
The first sequence in Vienna Blood takes us through period streets and squares.
The initial scene was filmed on Griechengasse. Just round the corner is the rather nice Griechenbeisl restaurant, where we celebrated my wife’s 40th birthday.
The same street appears later in the episode, when Max and the Inspector drive to the cemetery in a carriage.
The second set of shots in the opening sequence show Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz, a small square around the church of St. Ulrich.
The stone steps on the right that lead up to the church entrance feature statues of four saints. The background building is Café Morgenstern, where interior bar scenes might have been filmed (?).
Vienna Blood introduces us to the character of Clara as she and Max admire the Beethovenfries painted by Gustav Klimt. You can see the 1902 original over at the Secession building.
The rooftop chase
(Palais Pallavicini on Josefsplatz)
Max and the inspector chase Otto Braun across the rooftops of Vienna.
The first rooftop belongs to Palais Pallavicini, a gorgeous 18th-century townhouse next to the Hofburg palace (and, incidentally, Harry Lime’s apartment in The Third Man).
The Palais faces the National Library, which appears in the background of the shot.
A little later in the pursuit and you can see the Votivkirche church behind the actors. They built this mid-19th century church in thanks for Emperor Franz Joseph surviving an assassination attempt.
Max and Inspector Reinhardt eventually catch up with the miscreant where the underground part of the River Wien emerges into the Stadtpark city park (I think).
That’s not the last time you’ll see the Stadtpark in Vienna Blood…
Various street scenes
The wonderful street scenes in Vienna Blood proved hardest for us to track down. But we found a couple more from Episode 1.
(Part of the Mölker Steig at the edge of Vienna’s old town)
They film Max and the Inspector at the top of the steps at the back of the photo above as they walk toward the inn looking for Otto Braun.
(More Mölker Steig)
That walk eventually takes the two protagonists around the corner pictured above. They travel around this in the opposite direction earlier in the episode when enjoying their first carriage ride together.
(The road above Schreyvogelgasse)
A turn off from Mölker Steig takes you up past one of Beethoven’s old residences above Schreyvogelgasse and the Mölker Bastei , one of the few remaining bits of the old city fortifications. We see Inspector Reinhardt walk up here as he goes to visit Karl Überhorst.
Sergeant Haussmann walks along Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz again while tailing Otto Braun.
(The dome of the cemetery church)
The location for the cemetery scene is Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof cemetery, identifiable by the large St. Charles Borromeo church in the background. The huge complex provides a final home for some of the world’s most famous musicians and composers, including Beethoven, Strauss, and Schubert.
The coffee house
(One of Vienna’s many historical cafés)
Max discusses the case with Inspector Reinhardt in a coffee house, and Max also meets Clara there.
We’re pretty sure these scenes were filmed in the Bräunerhof, once the favoured haunt of the famous Austrian writer, Thomas Bernhard.
A final walk in the park
(The Burggarten from above)
Max and Clara walk through a park at the end of the episode. You see a quick shot of the golden Strauss memorial, which is in the Stadtpark, but most of the scene is actually shot in the Burggarten, built next to the Hofburg palace after Napoleon’s troops freed up some space on their way out of the city.
Episode 2 locations
The Alte Schmiede
Above is the view down Schönlaterngasse that starts Episode 2 and appears again later in the episode. This is the street the prostitute runs down before turning into the brothel.
(Not an actual brothel!)
The brothel entrance is the doorway on the right. The Alte Schmiede (“Old Smithy”) building with the big key hanging outside is very obvious in the episode. (It’s a cultural centre in the real world.)
The Mozart statue
(The 1896 Mozart monument and a popular photo opportunity in Vienna)
They filmed the poor chap who discovers the dead snake early in the episode in front of the Mozart statue (also in the Burggarten).
A bit of trivia for you: although the statue existed at the time of Vienna Blood, it only moved to its current spot after the Second World War.
(View of part of the military Arsenal complex)
The various scenes of dragoons (mounted or otherwise) take place around the Arsenal buildings, home to the Museum of Military History (one of the Season 2 locations).
They built the Arsenal in the second half of the 19th century as a barracks and munitions depot, so the location is, once again, rather apt.
Friedhof der Namenlosen
(Like the Ferris wheel, the location also features prominently in the movie Before Sunrise)
Very grateful to a reader for spotting this one.
The burial of an innocent suspect takes place in the Friedhof der Namenlosen. The “cemetery of the nameless” dates back to the 19th century, when it provided a last resting place for anonymous bodies that washed up on the shores of the Danube.
The opera house
(The Volkstheater stands in for the opera venue)
Mozart’s Magic Flute plays a big role in the episode. Although Vienna has three historic and prestigious opera houses, the building that Max and the Inspector enter is actually the Volkstheater (a theatre), completed in 1889.
OK, not a lot of locations to report on here, since most of the action in the final episode of Season 1 of Vienna Blood takes place outside of Vienna.
Schloss Grafenegg in Lower Austria plays the part of the school where various misdeeds go on. It takes around an hour by car to reach the castle from Vienna.
(A popular filming location because of the historical décor)
One exception is the coffee house where Max and the Inspector play billiards. Café Sperl dates back to 1880 and is one of my favourite cafés. We see it again in Season 2.
Our research continues, so watch this space for more Vienna Blood locations as we find them.
P.S. The name, Vienna Blood, echoes that of a famous waltz and operetta by Johann Strauss II. The original German-language title for Strauss’s work is Wiener Blut, which actually translates literally to Viennese Blood.
By pure chance I came across the Season 2 production crew on Jodok-Fink-Platz in the 8th district. This is a lovely square dominated by the Piaristenkirche church.
The actual day’s filming was due elsewhere and the square simply provided a convenient spot to park the trailers etc.. Unfortunately, I had to leave so couldn’t get more photos:
(Another way of getting around by carriage)