Gallery: World War II Flak Tower Transformed Into Tropical Aquarium in ...

Located in Esterhazy Park, the site has views over the city, and the building's interior offers five floors of displays.

The blockhouse towers – enormous concrete and steel leviathans that dominated the skyline – were constructed in Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna and used in defense against Allied air raids. Each one was built over the course of just six months, however they’re remarkably durable and feature three and a half meter-thick walls that served as air-raid shelters and sites the Luftwaffe used to defend the cities.

Today, Vienna’s Haus des Meeres could not be further displaced from this reality. Located in Esterhazy Park, the site offers views over the city, and the interior offers five floors of displays. A multi-story greenhouse has been constructed on the outside of the flak tower, complete with wooden walkways and rope bridges, and tropical vegetation that thrives amid small water features.

Inside, fish and turtles are on display while a variety of tropical birds and marmosets wander freely among the visitors. The Haus des Meeres also has a vivarium where visitors can find snakes, lizards, and crocodiles, and even a shark aquarium on the ground floor.

+ Haus des Meeres

Via Kuriositas

Images courtesy of Flickr Users Mr. History, Julius!, Sebastian Niedlich (Grabthar), and Mikrotom.


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  1. peterhansen May 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Visited them last summer and well worth the effort. You can see the location of the 6 towers here:

  2. feline74 May 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Modern-day castles! The ones with the windows are a fascia and remodel away from making very energy efficient mansions or apartment houses, to boot.

  3. rainingmirrors May 11, 2012 at 5:30 am

    The Haus des Meeres is just one of the flak towers in Vienna, Austria. A complete list can be found atürme (in german). I wanted to note, that of your photographs only one displays the Haus des Meeres, all the other pictures are from different towers.
    All the towers actually come in pairs, one contained the command centre (Feuerleitstelle) and the other the actual gun crews (Gefechtsturm).
    Others of the towers are used as depots, one is used as an exhibition room/centre for the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. Once there was a discussion to use one of them as a high security data centre, which is, btw, already the case with one other war relic in Austria.

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