The Naschmarkt is Vienna's most popular market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River it is about 1,5 kilometers long.
The Naschmarkt has existed since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles were sold ("Asch", for milk bottles led to the name "Aschenmarkt"). From 1793 onwards, all fruits and vegetables brought to Vienna with carts had to be sold here, while goods arriving on the Danube were sold elsewhere. Nowadays, you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from around the world, exotic herbs, cheese, baked goods such as bread, kaiser rolls, and torte, meats, and seafood. There are also a lot of small restaurants which offer e.g. sushi, kebap, fish, seafood, traditional viennese food such as Kaiserschmarrn (see de:Kaiserschmarrn) or Palatschinken (compares to rolled up crepes) and stalls which offer clothes and accessoirs. Since 1977, the market extends further along the Wienzeile to an adjacent area every Saturday, when a flea market takes place there.
The unique atmosphere of the Naschmarkt is famous far beyond the borders of Vienna, and huge amounts of tourists visit the market every year.
History of the Naschmarkt
In 1905 the former Korntnertormarkt (named after its location at the Korntnertor) received its official name, whose origins are not entirely clear. It is a fact that the population first referred to it as "Aschenmarkt" (Ash Market) but around 1820 it became known as "Naschmarkt".
There are two possible explanations for the term "Aschenmarkt": the market's precursor was a fruit and vegetables market at Freyung in the city centre. Because of constant disputes between the City Administration and the Schottenkloster (the Monastery of the Scottish Friars), it was moved in 1780 to the forstlich Starhembergische Freyhaus (a house belonging to the counts of Starhemberg, torn down in 1936, today the area of Hauptstrasse-Resselgasse-Operngasse). Earlier a small milk market had been established at the location of a former city landfill for ash and waste. This could be the reason why the Viennese called their new market "Aschenmarkt". At the same time, however, "Asch" was also a common name for milk buckets made of ash trees. Already at the beginning of the 19th century, the name "Naschmarkt" became more and more common. It may have been a parody of the old term because many treats with a whiff of exotic countries, such as sugared orange zests and dates, were and still are available at the market (naschen = to eat sweets).
After the regulation of the River Wien and its building over, the market began to extend from its original area (Karlsplatz between Operngasse/Linke Weinzeile and Wiedner Hauptstrasse) to the area covering the River Wien. The construction of the planned magnificent avenue leading to the Schonbrunn palace would have required it to move though. World War I ended discussions about a new location for the market. Already during the war the market received new stands following plans of the Vienna Executive Office for Urban Planning, Development and Construction and its uniform appearance still characteristic of it nowadays. In 1919 the original inner part of the market was given up, limiting it to today's location along the Wienzeile.
After 1916 a provisional wholesale market for fruit and vegetables was established at the side of the market facing to the outskirts of the city.