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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.


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