Destinations Magazine

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

By Jsbdsl @jonnyblair
Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

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Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

Deep in Vienna, Austria sits yet another crazy wacky republic. This one is a spherical ball that is a house and a separate country that borders Austria. This is Kugel Mugel!

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

This has to be one for an upcoming whackpacking adventure. The Republic of Kugelmugel is a country located at the Prater in Vienna, Austria (where I backpacked in 2005 before I was lunatical about wacaday republics). It’s basically a ball that looks like a spaceship! The Republic of Kugelmugel declared independence from Austria in 1976, after disputes between artist Edwin Lipburger and Austrian authorities over building permits for his wacaday ball-shaped house. Edwin built this house at the Landesstraße 4091 in Katzelsdorf, Lower Austria in 1971. In 1979, Lipburger was arrested and sent to jail for ten weeks. Ridiculous to me – he’s a hero!

In June 1982, the house was moved into the Prater park, near the Hauptallee, and was enclosed by eight-foot-tall barbed-wire fences. The house has the only address within the proclaimed Republic, that being “2., Antifaschismusplatz” (“2. district of Vienna; Anti-Fascism Square”), which has since been officially adopted by the city of Vienna. The republic has its own flag, borders, website, capital city (Kugelmugel) and a population of 650 (none of whom live there).

No – sadly Lipburger died in January 2015, but the Republic still officially holds a population of over 650 non-resident citizens and so Austria kept it. Nowadays, the Republic is administered by Vienna’s government and used as a tourist attraction.

The word “Kugel” means “ball” or “sphere” in German; the word “Mugel” is an Austrian German expression for “bump” or “hill on a field”.

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

Backpacking in Kugel Mugel: A Spherical House Republic in Vienna

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