• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Nazi-era building filled with sharks in Vienna
Costa Rican hammerhead shark. Photo: Barry Peters - Flickr

Nazi-era building filled with sharks in Vienna

The Local · 9 Mar 2016, 23:43

Published: 09 Mar 2016 23:43 GMT+01:00

The guns that were on the steel reinforced concrete structures fell silent and were removed many years ago, but the buildings themselves were so strongly made that it was not easily possible to demolish them.

And so they remain, haunting the city’s skyline, where they became known as the Grey Elephants, the giant remnants of the Nazi’s last line of defence against Allied troops that still tower above Vienna’s streets.


Photo: CEN

The 170-foot-high concrete flak towers are now so much a part of the city that many admit they do not even notice them. Most are now as they were at the end of the war, empty and deserted.

But for the flak tower in the Mariahilferstrasse, it has been converted into a multipurpose structure that includes the huge aquarium, a climbing wall, a zoo and now a spectacular panorama restaurant.

The hammerhead shark tank containing 150,000 litres of water is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular attractions, but it also includes the overhead crocodile pool which puts visitors coming in through the entrance of the building underneath a crocodile enclosure.

In other parts of the flak tower are further aquariums. The crocodile pool is surrounded by a humid jungle fitted into a converted greenhouse on the side of the flak tower. And on the outside, climbers can be seen scaling to the top, peering in through the greenhouse windows at the exotic wildlife and plants inside.


Photo: CEN

The flak tower was built at the location because of the clear view it had of the sky but that now gives the new "Ocean Sky" restaurant an event location with an unrivalled view of the area as well. And of course to get to it, it involves passing by the aquariums and other exotic creatures kept in the former flak tower several levels below.

With a combination of natural attractions and now the restaurant at the top, the "House of The Sea" (Haus des Meeres) is a tourism magnet with over 570,000 visitors a year.

Manager Hans Koppen said: "Many of the guests that come to the restaurant or to events here have never visited our attraction before. It's a great combination and the great thing is we notice that they sometimes then come back with their families or friends."

Story continues below…

Story courtesy of Central European News

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Second MERS case reported in Austria
Photo: JJRON/Wikimedia

According to a report from the WHO, a second case of the Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection (MERS-CoV) has now been reported in Austria.

Fire chief in Lower Austria confirmed as arsonist
Photo: Wolfsbach Feuerkommandant

The fire chief of Wolfsbach in Lower Austria has admitted to starting seven separate fires that amounted to €80,000 in damages.

Woman found stabbed to death in Vienna's Favoriten district
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 53-year-old woman was found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife early on Tuesday morning in Vienna’s Favoriten district.

Immigration to cause massive increase in benefit costs
Austria saw a record 90,000 people apply for asylum last year. Photo: UNHCR

A new study suggests that social welfare is under pressure in Austria because of the influx of migrants over the last year.

Dominatrix convicted for customer's strangulation death
Photo: Hadron137/Wikimedia

An Austrian prostitute was convicted Monday over the death of a sadomasochist client left to die with a noose and a shoelace around his neck in a Vienna hotel room.

Dominatrix in court after deadly sex game claims a life
Image: Mulher Gotica 2/Wikimedia

A prostitute is on trial accused of causing intentional serious bodily harm resulting in death, after a 45-year-old client of hers was found hanging in a hotel room.

Suspicious wife travelled to Graz with husband's entrails
The customs officers weren't expecting to find entrails. Photo: Europol

Customs officers at an Austrian airport were taken aback to find human entrails in the bag of a Moroccan traveller, who said they belonged to her dead husband.

Merkel wants to send back failed migrants
Photo: FNDE/Wikimedia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under fire at home over her refugees policy, called Saturday for Europe to secure deals with third countries to send back migrants who do not qualify for asylum.

Police officer run over by prisoner on day release
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A police officer in Vienna is in a critical condition after being knocked down by a prisoner on day release who was riding a Yamaha motorbike at full speed.

Jealousy drives man to blow up ex-girlfriend with hand grenade
Prnjavor in northern Bosnia. Photo: Cuman/Wikipedia

A Bosnian man living in Austria travelled back to his homeland to blow up his ex-girlfriend with a hand grenade when he found out she was seeing somebody else.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,466
jobs available