Eiterquellen by Stefan Fuertbauer in Schwedenplatz, Vienna, Austria

This image is an excerpt from a 20-piece series called Eiterquellen (translates into something like puss springs). It’s about Viennese wurstel diners and the Viennese fast food culture.

Most of the time these diners are isolated islands of food supply in an ancient surrounding with a dash of cultural heritage. Isolated both in the sense of appearance as well as in the sense of resisting against global operating fast-food chains. But the ‘improper’ and modern their architecture may appear, the much heritage there is behind the scenes.

Viennese wurstel diners have been introduced during the Austro-Hungarian “K.u.K.” Monarchy around 1870 to provide a safe income for wounded war veterans. Since then they became an essential part of the urban culture not by only supplying snacks but also being a meeting spot of the distinctive Viennese working class and the high society, too.

On top, the sub-urban Viennese tongue is a raw one and gets celebrated at exactly these places – a main reason I’ve chosen the title ‘Eiterquellen’ (‘Pus Springs’) for this project. The Viennese tongue has found some questionable synonyms for the food supplied at diners, like ‘Eitrige’ (‘pus- filled’) which describes a ‘Kaesekrainer’ sausage which is filled with cheese and when put on the grill the cheese melts and oozes out. With some imagination this can look like pus. Preferably the ‘Kaesekrainer’ is served with barf (mustard) and a hump (bread roll)…Of course these ancient Viennese diners had to evolve to catch up with international fast-food chains, Kebap diners and Asian snack bars. They’ve refurbished appearance with contemporary architecture which is by the way not unfamiliar with the style of diners of the 60ies in the US. But they serve the same snacks they used to serve almost 150 years ago.

So this is how these wonderful, sometimes quirky places emerged which wrangle with the history though they’re part of the same.

Name:Stefan Fuertbauer

Place you live: Vienna, Austria

Place your photo was taken: Downtown Vienna, a place called Schwedenplatz

Can you sum up Vienna? Vienna is the capital of Austria and has quite an ancient background (remember empress Sissi?) . I was travelling for almost a decade but Vienna was always the place I looked forward coming back and is now definitely the city I love to live in!

Occupation: Professional Photographer

A perfect day in Vienna? Definitely a warm and sunny summer afternoon! During winter it’s pretty cold, dark and dirty as in every major city in this latitude

If someone was visiting, what must they do? If you can’t resist a sightseeing tour, go and get it. Otherwise, dive into the town, follow the young folks and RELAX! Great places to hang around are Prater, MQ, Burggarten, Donauinsel Naschmarkt and every single, traditional Café!!!

A perfect meal in Vienna? Ever every single, traditional café 😉

What is the best thing about your spot? Plenty of history, present tradition and modern influence. The lifestyle I’d say is relaxed and full of humor, people are open minded and you shouldn’t be afraid of going out alone, you’ll find some folks to talk to!

What is the worst? Traffic is something which drives me nuts! Better go by sub, tram or bike!

A little known fact about where you live? There are no kangaroos in Austria!

Where is your favorite place in the world? Vienna

Who are your three favorite photographers? Constantly changing, but at the moment I’m into the Germans Ruff, Struth and Gursky as well as Jeff Wall.