(Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria)
Keywords: medieval city development, movement patterns
The present day street layout of the Viennese city centre roots in the urban expansion of the 13th Century. Among several measures involved – such as the erection of a new fortification ring and the inclusion of historically and economically important streets – the new urban area caused also the placing out of operation of the high medieval fortifications. The wall dates back to the roman period of Vindobona and was restored in the 12th Century by the Babenberger dukes. After becoming obsolete, the wall was partly incorporated between new houses as a fire-proof-wall and partly demolished. Nevertheless the rough course of the roman respectively high medieval wall is easily identifiable both in the late medieval and the present day urban layout.
This paper will focus on the consequences on the overall street pattern that were introduced by the placing out of operation of the high medieval fortification and the leveling of its moat. In doing so, it will apply space syntax analysis methods to a new reconstruction of the plan of late medieval Vienna. The Space Syntax Theory was developed in the 60s by Bill Hillier in order to link urban patterns to social behavior and human movement. The employment of Space Syntax Analysis will point out the change of integration and centrality within the urban fabric caused by one of the most meaningful interventions in Viennese urban history. It will also depict the expansion process within the high medieval city and illustrate the meaning of distinctive areas such as the one around the church of St. Ruprecht or the main square at Hoher Markt.
This paper is part of current PHD-research on the urban development of medieval Vienna and new means of interpretation and presentation of the medieval Viennese cultural heritage.