World's Greatest Public Bathrooms
MA 48-City of Vienna
Graben Toilets by Wilhelm Beetz, Vienna
The late 19th century marked a turning point in Vienna’s sanitation history, thanks to one Wilhelm Beetz. The city’s long history of crude and infection-prone facilities (wooden buckets, anyone?) drove Beetz to propose a number of modern conveniences, including these Jugendstil toilets in Graben, the shop-to-be-seen boulevard of fin de siècle Vienna. The entranceway—framed by twisting metalwork—is reminiscent of a subway gate, but descend and you’ll find elegant underground toilets with pretty patterned tiles, marble walls, and wood-paneled booths equipped with individual sinks and brass fixtures—still spic-and-span.
Where to Go: Graben street, near Kohlmarkt, in the heart of historic Vienna.