Opening of the museum on the occasion of 100 years of Hohe Warte
On the 19th of June, the legendary and majestic home of the country’s six-time champion celebrates its 100th birthday. On this occasion, Austria's oldest football club is opening its museum. The festive day is rounded off with the men’s (Gerasdorf, 5:30 p.m.) and women’s game (Geretsberg, 7:30 p.m.).
On Saturday, June 19, First Vienna Football Club 1894 is celebrating an extraordinary party. On that day, Austria's six-time champion and Mitropacup winner 1931 celebrates 100 years of Hohe Warte. The unique meeting place in the 19th district of Vienna was opened in 1921 with a 2-1 win over SC Hakoah. The sporting, historical-cultural and social features of the complex made the Hohe Warte venue a unique meeting place over the decades.
The majestic home plays a special role in many people's lives. The meeting place has been part of history and the cause of stories for a century. The impressive history is now illustrated for the first time in the club's own museum.
The club museum is integrated into the clubhouse on the Hohe Warte. The museum has a very special flair. It is reminiscent of an English country club, which has to do with the origins of Vienna. Austria's oldest football club was founded by Brits in 1894.
The club’s history is rebuilt on various display boards. From founding father Nathaniel Mayer Anselm Freiherr von Rothschild, Mark D. Nicholson, the construction of the stadium, the first championship title in 1931, to the 1955 championship team with Hans Menasse and Johann Buzek, the legends Hans Krankl, world champion Mario Kempes, Andreas Herzog to modern times. Different trophies are displayed in the showcases. Some of them were made available by former players and loyal fans from their private collections. The showpiece of the museum is the Mitropacup from 1931. The most valuable trophy in the club's 126-year history was recreated over months of work.
Vienna wrote sports history in 1931. It was the most successful year in the club's history. After the championship title, Vienna also won the Mitropacup and celebrated the double. The Mitropa Cup was the most important club trophy in European football back then, comparable to the Champions League today.
The museum's curator is Alexander Juraske, author of “Blau-Gelb ist mein Herz” and a club historian. In cooperation with the club’s management and main sponsor UNIQA, Juraske prepared and implemented the project together with Michael Czeschka, one of the largest private collectors of Vienna utensils, for over a year. For the time being, the museum has no “classic” opening times. Guided tours are to be arranged individually in consultation with Juraske and the management.
In addition to historical superlatives, there will also be sporting highlights on June 19: The men squad, currently top of the league in the so called Wiener Stadtliga, will play against SV Gerasdorf Stammersdorf at 5:30 p.m. The women, leaders in the second division, face Sportunion Geretsberg (7:30 p.m.).
In the last century, legendary international matches, cup finals and all kinds of international games were played on the Hohe Warte. There were also open-air performances by opera and operetta ensembles, variety and fashion shows.
In addition to Vienna, the Hohe Warte also was the home of the Austrian national team from 1921 to 1936. In the 1930s, the so-called iconic Wunderteam, the miracle team, managed by Hugo Meisel, was considered the world's best national team.
At times, other sporting events such as boxing, running, speedway, land hockey, American football and rugby as well as cultural highlights such as Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida or pop concerts by Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, INXS and Ostbahn-Kurti found their temporary home in Döbling .
For a long time, the home of Vienna’ First Football Club was considered to be the biggest and best stadium in continental Europe. On the 15th of April 1923, on the occasion of the international match between Austria and Italy, 85,000 spectators watched the game. That was a record visit. Today the HoWa – that’s the way supporters call the living room of the Blue and Yellows - can host up to 4,568 spectators. With an additional permission, 7,500 spectators are allowed into the nature arena.
On June 19, 1921, the Hohe Warte was inaugurated with a 2-1 win over SC Hakoah. 12,000 spectators came to the first game of the championship. This marked the beginning of many pilgrimages to this place of sporting worship in the 19th district of Vienna.
Shortly before the completion of the blue and yellow home, the Viennese press reported in 1921 that something unique was being created in Döbling. "A work is quietly maturing towards its completion, which will carry the fame of its creators far beyond the borders of our country."
The 110 x 70 meter playing field was surrounded by a 408 meter-long running track. Enclosed on one long side and two curves by a wide embankment that could accommodate the majority of the audience, the square was nestled elegantly on the slopes of the Hohe Warte. The floor area was over 95,000 square meters.
The Hohe Warte was constructed by Eduard Schönecker. Schönecker was the older brother of Rapid's founding father Dionys Schönecker and had already built the stadium on the Pfarrwiese. After a year and a half of construction, the Hohe Warte was completed in 1921.