A Guide For Austrian Economists in Vienna
Mises’s Vienna 2.0: This map and the guide below have been compiled by Mises University graduates Andrew Finnerty and Robert Müürsepp, who were able to meet up in Vienna to explore the places important to the scholars of the Austrian school.
University of Vienna: It should be noted that Hans Kelsen has a bust just to the right as you’re looking at the Wieser plaque in the courtyard. Kelsen graduated high school with Ludwig von Mises, was born and died in the same years, wrote the constitution of Austria, and was the best man at Lu and Margit’s wedding. It would be nice to know the precise room Mises held his private seminar at the school.
Café Künstler (Artist Café, Across from the University): According to Gottfried Haberler:
At eleven thirty or so those members who were not yet exhausted went to the Cafe Künstler, opposite the University, the favorite meeting place of economists in Vienna in those days. Mises was always among the hardy ones who went to the Künstler Cafe and was the last one to leave for home, never before 1 a.m.[i]
We did not see this find this exact place, however there is a coffee shop (that serves beer) across from the university as well as a “Wein & Co” that would likely be open quite late. It would be nice to know the precise building the café was located and what now exists in its place.
Wirtschaftskammer Wien (Chamber of Commerce, Stubenring 8-10): Powell wrote of some controversy regarding a plaque that was put-up by LvMI in 1988 signifying the “Saal” Mises gave his seminar in. Lawrence White had given a lecture in it several weeks before we arrived, but no one mentioned the plaque nor the name of the exact “Saal” the lecture was held. We fear this plaque may have been lost in bureaucratic limbo. But we think we have a solution to this unfortunate misplacement if you read further down. We went inside expecting to be accosted by officials telling us to leave. Robert was amazed that there were no security guards nor even a receptionist as there would be in Estonia (and I assume as well in the District of Corruption).
No one was even by the door, so we started up the stairs. All the “Saals” were closed and we did not venture towards a room with the lights pouring out. It would have been nice to see Mises’ office. Many people have commented that he always had a clean desk and was willing to talk. We also note that many of his friends worked nearby such as Hayek and Haberler.[ii] In a way, Mises was like the Ron Swanson of his era, albeit abrasive and knowledgeable in different ways. You can imagine him hiding his manuscript of “Bureaucracy” in order to talk with another official about some ‘important’ matter.
Hotel Bristol (Kärntner Ring 1): Hayek’s grandparents owned a number of rooms on the top floor. Hayek first met Böhm-Bawerk here as he was a mountain climbing friend of his grandfather.
Former Ministy of Finance (Himmelpfortgasse 6-8): Schumpeter and Böhm-Bawerk both worked here although the outside was being renovated at the time.
Gymnasium und Realgymnasium Stubenbastei: Hayek’s Elementary School.
Hayek’s Home (Messenhausergasse 14): Now a café on the corner, you can find the front door just a couple windows down the road. Although this was a bit further from several other places in the first district, it still provides a nice walk.
Akademisches Gymnasium (Beethovenplatz 1): Interesting enough, Mises’s old high school is off of Kantgasse (Kant Lane) which might allow us to consider the controversy of whether or not Mises leaned more Kantian or Aristotelian in his methodology.[iii]
The outside wall has many plaques of its famous graduates such as Kelsen and the physicist Erwin Schrödinger. We wanted to use this article as fundraising method for a plaque for Mises, however we have not received a response from the school regarding the process. It would be great to unveil a plaque at the next Supporters Summit in Vienna. This would even be a great location should MisesUniversity ever have a European addition.
Finally, we introduce the Google “Austrian Economics Map” (which wasn’t available in 2006) owned by Mises.org in order to help facilitate further updates and keep all the land marks straight. We’ve included some cemeteries and places mentioned in Margit Mises’ memoir. Some more precise locations would be appreciated so the next time you’re in Vienna, look closely and continue to research the historical places of the Austrian school. Make sure to include a page number and source of your findings. We’ll leave to the editors to decide what sites are the most important, as we’ve left off the map Mises’s vacation to the White Mountains of New Hampshire among other places unable to be viewed in a day limiting it to the city of Vienna.
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Andrew Finnerty holds degrees in English and Business. He attended Mises University after studying under Mark Brandly. He lives and works in West Michigan. Send him mail. Robert Müürsepp holds a degree in Economics from the University of Tartu. He attended Mises University in 2011. He lives in Tallinn, Estonia, writes for Mises Institute Estonia and works at Statistics Estonia. Send him mail.