Tales of Dragons and Saints: Vienna for Children

Tales of Dragons and Saints: Vienna for Children

Tales-of-Dragons-and-Saints-2This walk is designed for families visiting Vienna with children.  Moving through the Inner Stadt, we look backward to the city’s legends of brave knights and fearful dragons, while passing churches, monasteries, noble and humble residences.

For starters, we help kids to examine the central cathedral of Stephansdom, the landmark of Vienna.  We tell the history of the building’s construction and how it influenced the entire city landscape around it. Walking through the huge church, we consider the decorations favored in Gothic building as well as the craftsmanship needed to create such a building in the medieval period. To this day, a large coterie of people are working constantly to maintain the building. They have special jobs which we explain. We will also see several religious figures and consider the mythic powers that were believed to be connected with them. An example is Zahnwehherrgott – The Toothache Jesus – who clearly is in agony.  But he has strong powers, so it is best not to laugh at him.

Tales-of-Dragons-and-Saints-3Vienna in the Middle Ages was a typical Christian city and was not only dominated by the main church in the city centre but also by the many monasteries. We explore two. The Franciscan Monastery Kapuziner Kloster is an isolated order which is trusted to care for the graves of the Habsburg Family and pray for their souls. They have very little contact to society outside.  By contrast, the Deutschorden (Teutonic Knights) is a knightly order which was devoted to running a hospital for the crusaders returning from Jerusalem and guest houses were crusaders passed the night on their way to Jerusalem. What they are doing today in Vienna is a tale we tell while visiting their interesting little church housed a few meters from Stephansdom.

Tales-of-Dragons-and-Saints-4Daily life in Vienna was hard in the 15th century.  As we move along the narrow old streets with their mix of noble palaces and common houses, we help kids to grasp the average activities of common people and nobility and to understand how medieval society was organised.  How were guilds structured?  What were the city’s traditions?  How did children live? How could you find someone living in Vienna using the old style of house numbers?  All along the way, we encounter mythical figures of people and animals that have left their legends all along the cobbled streets of Old Vienna.



Ilse Heigerth

Having obtained a Masters degree in Romance languages, and studied ethnology and journalism in the 1990s in Vienna as well, Ilse has served as the editor for numerous well-known Vienna-based writers.  Her interests have always been attracted to history, the arts and literature.  Born and raised in Salzburg, it is not a surprise that she also developed an early affinity for classical music, studying piano at an advanced level in Graz for 2 years.  She worked with the Sigmund Freud Museum for 3 years; and in 2013, after two and a half years of required training and study she became a licensed Austrian tour guide.  Ilse delights in sharing the fascinating history and culture of Vienna and Salzburg on a personal level, while enjoying cultural exchanges with visitors from all over the world.


Katharina Trost

Katharina Trost was born and raised in Vienna and earned an MA in History at the University of Vienna.  She gives a wealth of themed tours of her city, from the classic city tour to imperial history, music history, architecture and art nouveau, palaces, churches and cemeteries. She is well-known for her lively and specialized tours for children, which are interactive and allow kids to solve historical secrets while discovering Austria's capital.  

Gerti Schmidt

Gertraud Schmidt has a linguistics background. She decided to leave a successful career in translation to indulge her passion for history, architecture, art and culture.  After graduating summa cum laude from the two years of study to become a licenced Austria guide, she has become a involved member of the Vienna travel world, representing the Vienna Tourist Guides in the Chamber of Commerce/Association of Businesses in the Leisure Field in Vienna, as a member the Tourist Guide Training Department and as Vice Chair of the Board in the Chamber of Commerce/ Association of Businesses in the  Leisure Field in Vienna. She loves introducing travelers to Vienna’s rich history, its architecture and astonishing art collections. In her free time, she also serves as an expert lay judge at the provincial high court.  


Insight Cities arranges this tour only for private groups with advance notice, at present. Thanks for emailing us at [email protected].

Private Walk (1-6 People) $390
Private Walk (7-10 People) $500


Groups of over 10 should contact us at [email protected] in order to get a special rate for their party.

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