Why Vienna Is the Spy Capital of the World

On an airfield runway in Vienna on a luminous July day in 2010, the United States and Russia imparted the first major hostage exchange between the countries since 1986. The U.S. handed over 10 member states of a Russian agent reverberating who had been caught working to infiltrate America as” sleeper agents .” The exchange included Anna Chapman, who gained notoriety after her arrest not so much for the quality of her espionage( or shortage thereof) as much as for her flare ruby-red “hairs-breadth”. In return, Russia exhausted four Russian prisoners who had been penitentiary because of their the relations with the West.

Chapman notwithstanding, the hostage exchange was the not-quite-the- middle-of-a-dark-and-misty-night handover between forearmed beings in trench coats we have come to expect from Cold War epics. But that day, Vienna lived up to its honour as the Spy Capital of the World.

Vienna has a long biography with spying. Between World War I and II, Vienna became a European centre for espionage tasks. The Third Reich eventually collected much of its ability on southern and eastern Europe in Vienna. By the time the Cold War began, Vienna was considered an excellent neighbourhood to collect intelligence because of the high number of refugees living there who were desperate to earn a living, even if that intended exchanging information to foreign intelligence services. With that reputation, Vienna dished as the fix for the 1949 Orson Welles spy thriller The Third Man , one of the most famous slice of British film noir.

A former manager in the Austrian intelligence services formerly told the Telegraph that more than 7,000 sleuths is engaged in Vienna, a town of practically 1.8 million people. It’s” a nice home for snoops to live and bring their families ,” he included. Although there are many reasonableness to inspect Vienna for tourists and snoops alike, Austria’s famous chocolate patty ( sachertorte ) and the city’s perfectly preserved Habsburg palaces are not the reason intelligence services still flock to the city.

Austria has some of “the worlds largest” tightened principles on espionage of both countries in countries around the world and those rules have not been modernized since the Austro-Hungarian empire fell, even with two world wars and the Cold War since then. In fact, the only spying works that are illegal in the country are the manner that directly target Austria. Vienna also hosts one of four headquarters of the United Nation and is home to about 40 other important international organizations that have delegatings from all over countries around the world, in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA ), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries( OPEC ), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe( OSCE ). With approximately 320 both bilateral and multilateral diplomatic agents operating in Vienna, roughly 4,000 statesmen, and more than 6,000 international officials, Vienna is brimming with info foreign intelligence services want to collect.

But it is in strolling the street of Vienna that you really start to see why the city lives up to its cloak and dagger biography. Vienna’s famous coffee lives have played an important role as meeting places for writers, musicians, creators and philosophers throughout biography. At Cafe Central in the heart of Vienna, you can dine on A pfelstrudel in the same plaza where Leo Trostky and Sigmund Freud convened. You can also take advantage of the apparently endless coffeehouse tattle to meet your beginnings for the purposes of the radar and to mask any clandestine discussions you need to have.

Tourists flock to Vienna’s Ring Road( Ringstrasse ), a superhighway that supplanted the city’s Medieval walls in the mid-1 9th century and now clique some of the city’s most historic spates. Crowds can be annoying for sightseers, but not for anyone would be interested to blend in or conduct business without being discovered; they will be drawn to busy neighbourhoods like Stephansplatz with St. Stephen’s towering cathedral and the thousands of accumulates in the pedestrian shop area. The row of world class art galleries in the MuseumsQuartier likewise attract armies. If you think you have someone following you and you need to lose them, the best lieu to depart is somewhere with a crowd.

Vienna is broken into 23 different districts, but the city’s well-ordered and dependable public transportation system forms it easy for tourists looking to move around. It is also helpful for anyone would be interested to make a speedy getaway. The street trams known as the Strassenbahn, the metro organisation called the U-Bahn, and the city buses make it easy to hop on and off around the city and “theyre all” primarily wheelchair accessible. If you need to get out of the two countries, Vienna’s center point in Europe and the S-Bahn train( Schnellbahn) make it easy; you can get to Bratislava in one hour, Budapest in less than 3 hour, or Prague or Munich in four.

If you are more inclined to reenact famed spy movie backgrounds than do the actual sleuth, Vienna is still full of opportunities. You can recreate one of the most famous panoramas from The Third Man by razzing the same precise Ferris wheel shown in the movie when Orson Welles is confronted about staging his own extinction. At 212 paws towering, the Wiener Risenrad in Prater amusement park in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district remains one of the oldest and tallest Ferris wheels still in use in the world.

The Vienna State Opera house was the put for one of the best oppose incidents in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation . The opera house opened in 1869 and is home to one of the most nature renowned opera fellowships. Visitors can take a backstage tour of the beautiful construct and, as one of the busiest opera houses in countries around the world, is likely to be catch a rendition. While you might even be lucky enough to watch the same show playing during Cruise’s fight stage, Turandot , opera house staff are likely to frown upon attempts to reenact the scene by clambering into the rafters or sparring on top of moving lighting above the stage mid-performance.

Whether you are coming to Vienna as a tourist or a snoop, don’t forget to pack your trench coat.

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