Orientation & Geography

Europe, Austria, Vienna

Judenplatz is a town square in Vienna's Innere Stadt that was the center of Jewish life and the Viennese Jewish Community in the Middle Ages. It is located in the immediate proximity of Am Hof square, Schulhof, and Wipplingerstra├če. It exemplifies the long and eventful history of the city and the Jewish community focused on this place. Archaeological excavations of the medieval synagogue are viewable underground by way of the museum on the square, Misrachi-Haus. Two sculptural works, a carved relief and several inscribed texts are located around the square that all have subject matter relating to Jewish history. One of these sculptures is a statue of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The other is a memorial to Austrian Holocaust Victims, a project based on an idea of Simon Wiesenthal and unveiled in 2000. Created by British artist Rachel Whiteread, the memorial is a reinforced concrete cube resembling a library with its volumes turned inside out. Inscribed at the base of the memorial are the names of the places where 65,000 Austrian Jews were murdered by the Nazis. With the realization of the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, Judenplatz has become a place of memory, but it is also an important center of Austrian law. The Judenplatz is the location of the Constitutional Court of Austria and the Administrative Court of Austria.