The mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig (on the right), has thrown his support behind the sausage stand initiative, Source: City of Vienna

The Viennese sausage wants to be part of Austria’s intangible cultural heritage

The Viennese sausage wants to be part of Austria’s intangible cultural heritage

The sausage stands, according to the city’s mayor, are closely linked to the local identity

Vienna has given the world the waltz and the coffee houses, but few people link the aristocratic city with sausages. And that’s despite the common name – Wieners - for a certain type of sausage in the English language used in hot dogs.

Well, this might soon change as several Viennese sausage stand owners have banded together to find an association that will advocate for the inclusion of the Austrian capital’s sausage stand culture (Wiener Würstelstand-Kultur) on the country’s intangible heritage list. The ballroom waltz and coffee houses are already on that list; however, this new eventual inclusion would pay homage to the city’s working-class side as well.

In fact, the sausage stands have become a beloved institution that is frequented by late-night opera visitors as much as by shift workers during the day.

History of the sausage stands in Vienna

The sausage stands in Vienna go back to the original mobile food stalls and sales stands from the Austro-Hungarian era. They were intended to provide an income for war invalids, which links them to the social welfare history of the city as well.

The fixed sausage stand, however, is a relatively recent achievement. The city of Vienna only allowed fixed locations in 1969. The oldest sausage stand still in existence was opened in 1928 and is still in operation on the Döblinger Gürtel (Würstelstand Leo). The sausage stand not only has its own jargon but has also become a fixture in pop culture and literature of the modern era.

The mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, is the most prominent public figure to have thrown his support behind the initiative.

"The Viennese sausage stands are inseparably linked to the heart of our city and are more than just places to sell delicious food," said Mayor Ludwig. "The sausage stands are part of the city's identity and history. They are also a social hub and strengthen the community and togetherness in Vienna."

The application for inclusion of the “Vienna sausage stand culture” in the list of intangible cultural heritage in Austria, including declarations of support, will soon be officially submitted.



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