The top 25 Vienna Legends: #1 / Blutgasse
#1 The myth of the bloody street: Blutgasse
One of the first legends I was told upon arriving in Vienna was a pleasantly terrifying tale of Templars.
As a teenager fascinated by chaos magick, obsucre history, and anything vaguely reminiscent of something Robert Anton Wilson might like, it was the most perfect possible introduction to the city.
In the first district, just behind Stephansplatz there is a short street running between Singerstrasse and the Domgasse. Mozart once lived around the corner. The houses here are some of the oldest in Vienna, with some of the fundaments dating back to the 12th century. History isn’t some abstract concept, it’s a physical part of daily life.
The legend of Blutgasse goes back to the beginning of the 14th century. The Knights Templar, whose influence, wealth, and tax free status had become a thorn in the side of Royals indebted to them, were under attack. King Philip IV of France had been pressuring the church to take action against the Templars. On Friday the thirteenth of October, 1307, he finally made a move against the group, arresting and torturing Templars in France until they confessed to various blasphemies.
According to the Legend, the Knights had founded a secret Refugium in the Fähnrichshof in Vienna. When the Refugium was stormed in 1312, the street now known as Blutgasse was turned red with the blood of the Knights.